Croydon council headquarters

At least 26 local councils in some of England’s most deprived areas are at risk of bankruptcy within the next two years.  A survey of 47 local authorities showed that five are currently in the process of issuing a “section 114 notice”. This announces the council cannot pay its debts.  

A further nine councils are in a group that may have to declare bankruptcy next year.  Several local authorities have already hit the rocks after the years in which the Tories have slashed funding—they include Thurrock, Woking, Croydon and Slough.  

Bankruptcy triggers a process where all democratic control is removed, and unelected auditors take over the council. All but the minimum statutory services are removed, and many workers lose their jobs. 

Councils need to defy cuts and fight for more funding.

Nursing student number falling

New figures show that government claims to be adding to the nursing workforce are a sham.   The number of students accepted onto nursing courses in England in 2023 has declined by more than 13 percent compared with the year before. And 2022 was itself more than 9 percent lower than 2021.  

Vacancies for NHS nurses have increased by 10 percent in a year to more than 43,000.   The Tories NHS Workforce Plan for England, set out proposals to recruit 170,000 more nurses by 2036-37.

It included a commitment to increasing the number of nursing students by more than a third within five years. 

Care home policy killed 

Some 30 families that saw relatives in care homes die of Covid are taking the government to court.  

The families argue that not enough was done to protect their relations from the virus after the department of health ordered hospitals to discharge hospital patients into care homes without testing or a requirement to isolate.  

The cases follow a 2022 High Court judgement that ruled the policy was unlawful.   Then Tory health secretary Matt Hancock had claimed to have put “a protective ring” around care homes.  

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