Jeremy Corbyn has urged Sheffield City Council to ‘band together’ with other local authorities to urgently prevent more cuts to local services.
He said: “The cuts have been made partly in welfare expenditure, but is also in the systematic under funding of local government.
“If the government carries on with this level of local authority under funding then many other services will have gone.
“I’m suggesting that local authorities have got to band together and be much more demanding of central government because local government is paying the price for this whole programme of austerity and it’s going to affect everybody.”
Mr Corbyn was speaking at a press conference before he addressed an estimated 1,500 people who attended his rally in Sheffield city centre.
The front-runner in the party race to replace former leader Ed Miliband, who stood down in the wake of the general election result, addressed a crowd of 900 people at The Crucible theatre this afternoon.
Those who had not been able to register for seats were given the chance to hear Mr Corbyn speak outside in Tudor Square.
The leadership frontrunner said Chancellor George Osborne’s pledge to create a “Northern Powerhouse” was an ‘interesting concept’ which people should be cautious of.
“I think it’s a very interesting concept. The problem is that it seems that Mr Osborne is very keen to persuade local authorities to take over central government functions but when they open the parcel labelled ‘central government functions’ unfortunately they find a rather large bill inside and I think we should be very cautious of that.”
The Islington North MP’s comments came as he helped to launch a new Labour group devoted to pushing regeneration projects in the party’s traditional heartlands.
He suggested his policies would be shaped by a Northern Futures body being spearheaded by Jon Trickett, MP for Hemsworth, and said a policy relating to arts and culture funding would be announced on Tuesday.
When asked if it was necessary to have women-only carriages on trains, Mr Corbyn said the idea was a suggestion he was willing to discuss.
He said: “There is a serious level of harassment of women on public transport. A suggestion, it’s not a proposal, it’s open there for discussion, was in some countries, Mexico for example, they do have women-only carriages on the metro and the buses. It doesn’t mean women can’t join the rest of the train, they can.”
Mr Corbyn added that he believed the leadership race was ‘the biggest exercise in democracy outside of a normal election, something which he said was ‘exciting’.
The winner of the leadership contest is to be announced on September 12, with Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall also vying for the title.