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Hull MP questions council tax rise in Parliament

There were heated exchanges at Hull's Guild Hall today as councillors vote on this year's budget.

The Labour-controlled council needs to save £48 million over the next two years which may mean getting rid of up to 500 jobs.

It is also expected to result in a 2 percent rise in council tax, and reduced leisure centre and museum opening times.

Meanwhile the row over funding for local authorities reached the house of commons today.

The Hull North MP Diana Johnson called for a Parliamentary debate on why the heaviest council cuts seem to be being imposed on the poorest areas:

Unions protesting over Hull budget cuts

Unions are protesting outside Hull's Guild Hall today as the council meets over next years budget.

ITV Yorkshire

The Labour controlled council need to make £48 million worth of savings over the next two years, which includes axing up to 500 jobs.

They say compulsory redundancies would be a last resort.

A council tax rise of 1.95% is also being considered because of the cuts needed.

Leisure centre and museum opening times may also be reduced and the mobile library service will be scrapped.

Claims South Yorkshire could be missing out on millions in funding

Claims have emerged that South Yorkshire is missing out on millions of pounds of European Union funding - because the cash is being diverted to Scotland instead.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield MP Nick Clegg today denied Labour claims that he's been 'asleep at the wheel' by allowing a 50 percent cut in EU money. He says funding will actually rise this year.

But his opponents say he's fiddling the figures, with cash being shifted to other regions. Our Political Correspondent Paul Brand reports on the row.

Clegg accuses Labour of 'shocking hypocrisy'

Nick Clegg has accused Labour of 'shocking hypocrisy' for claiming that the government has cut EU funding for South Yorkshire.

The Deputy Prime Minister insisted that spending would go up this year, from £20m to £23m. But the funding is actually dished out in lumps of six years, and in 2007-2013 it was £350m, with most of that spent at the beginning of the period, which is why spending was so low last year.

In 2014-2020 it will only be £178m - a 50% cut on the previous round. Labour say Nick Clegg - a Sheffield MP himself - has been 'asleep at the wheel', allowing a huge cut to South Yorkshire while richer regions have been given more money.

Click below to watch Calendar's political correspondent Paul Brand quizzing Clegg over the cuts:

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Rail commuters face new financial burden

Rail passengers who are already having to cope with increasing fares, now face another financial burden.

For many years car parks at many of West Yorkshire's smaller train stations have been free. But it has emerged today that could change. Tina Gelder reports from one commuter surburb in Leeds, where travellers may be forced to pay up.

£4.5m boost for female rape support centres

Damian Green, the Victims Minister will be in Leeds today to see the work of Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds and he will announce funding for next year for the country's female rape support centres

This money totals £4.4 million and the announcement will also include a £12 million extra pot for PCCs to bid for to provide extra victims services.

Leeds will get one of the highest amounts in the country. In total there are 78 centres around the country that are being funded and two new centres.

Protest planned for Doncaster Mayor's ward

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones Credit: PA

Campaigners angry at budget cuts approved by Doncaster Council are planning a protest in the Mayor's local ward. They say the £109 million cuts proposed by Mayor Ros Jones will hit the Askern hard especially hard, with the closure of a day centre and loss of leisure and library services.

A protest will be held outside Askern Library at 1pm on Saturday. Doug Wright, Treasurer of Doncaster People's Assembly, said:

"The budget cuts will have a devastating impact on the users of local services. In addition the announced job losses will devastate local families and further weaken the local economy.

With no one political party opposing these cuts (Labour, Conservative & Lib-DemCouncillors voting in favour of the budget proposals) the Doncaster People's Assembly and its members are the only group representing the majority local opinion inDoncaster.

That is why we need to take our message to the Mayor's own constituency of Askern. The message is clear, there is an alternative to the government led austerity pro- gramme and that is to invest in public services and infrastructure.

Doncaster budget: Toughest decisions in 40 years

Cuts will be felt by people of Doncaster Credit: Calendar news

The Mayor of Doncaster says the council has taken "some of the toughest decisions in its 40 year history" in approving budget proposals as part of a three year financial plan. Ros Jones said:

"We have been put in this difficult financial position by the Government’s austerity measures. The stark reality is that this will be felt by the people of Doncaster.

At today's meeting of the full council, Mayor Jones set out a financial strategy to address the £109 million budget gap facing the Council over the next three years.

The cuts include:

• Phased closure of seven old people’s homes

• Closure of mobile library service and working with the community to provide more community-managed libraries

• Increasing fees and charges

• Council Tax proposed to increase by 1.95 per cent. This will be set at council meeting in March

• Possible closure of eight out of the 20 children’s centres and nine of the 17 youth services buildings.

• Subsidies to services to be rationalised

• Significant reduction of council's 461 buildings which cost around £12m a year to run.

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