I FELT I must respond to the letter last week which accused the Labour council of playing games with finance, calling it smoke and mirrors.

I can assure the writer it’s absolutely true that this council has lost £90 million in central government funding over the last nine years.

This is in line with most other councils, especially Labour controlled ones.

There is a number of Conservative ones who have lost very little certainly nothing like this amount.

However, many Conservative councils are also stating they are struggling to cope with the savagery of cuts. 

This is deliberate government policy to shift the blame from themselves to local councils. 

Amazing how many people fall for it and take it out on their local politicians for the cuts in services. 

St Helens have been praised many times by the audit office for their financial management of their budget and some times dipping into reserves is the right thing to do when there is an issue that’s important to the electorate. 

Theresa Butler,