David Cameron wrote to his local council complaining about cuts to frontline services

David Cameron has come under fire after writing to his local council criticising "significant cuts to frontline services".

The Prime Minister wrote to the leader of Oxfordshire Council Ian Hudspeth expressing "disappointment" at the way savings were being achieved and offering help from Downing Street advisers.

Here's what we know about the controversy.

  • What did David Cameron say in his letter?

The Prime Minister criticised cuts to frontline services in his letter to the leader of Oxfordshire Council. Credit: ITV News

Mr Cameron said he was "disappointed" at suggestions to make "significant cuts to frontline services - from elderly services, to libraries, to museums" and closures of children's centres in the country.

He asks why the council hasn't focused on “making back-office savings”.

And he says there has been only “a slight fall in government grants in cash terms.”

Mr Cameron also offers help from Downing Street advisers - "I would be happy to initiate a further dialogue with individuals in the Number 10 Policy Unit and yourself. Please contact Sheridan Westlake (address) if you wish to take this up," he writes.

  • How did the leader of Oxfordshire Council react?

Leader of Oxfordshire Council Ian Hudspeth Credit: Oxfordshire Council

In a six-page letter, Mr Hudspeth explains that the council had already cut its back office functions, looked at shared services, reduced staff numbers by thousands and disposed of property.

He pointed out new functions that had transferred to the council, including public health and social care.

As for Cameron's claims about government grant's Hudspeth comments: "Excluding schools, our total government grants have fallen from £194m in 2009/10 to £122m a year in 2015/16, and are projected to keep falling at a similar rate. I cannot accept your description of a drop in funding of £72m or 37% as a 'slight fall'."

  • How has Mr Hudspeth responded to the letters being published?

Mr Hudspeth said he didn't want to comment on "leaked correspondence" that "wasn't intended for publication".

But he added that the letters were "part of an ongoing discussion with government" about protecting frontline services.

  • How have Labour responded?

Labour has called for an investigation by the Cabinet Secretary into whether Mr Cameron, who is the MP for Witney, breached the ministerial code by offering to use Number 10 staff to benefit the constituency.

The code says: "Ministers are provided with facilities at government expense to enable them to carry out their official duties."

"These facilities should not generally be used for party or constituency activities," it adds.

  • What has the prime minister said about the criticism?

A spokeswoman for David Cameron told the Oxford Mail: