On Monday, Nottingham City Council is expected to confirm major budget cuts that will have a devastating effect on public services across the city.

11,000 Nottingham residents have signed a petition calling on the government to increase funding, and community representatives travelled to Downing Street on Friday to hand it in.

The cuts include a 100% loss of public investment in cultural organisations such as galleries, museums and theatres, mirroring similar slashing of arts budgets by councils across the UK. According to campaigners it also follows a decade of central government underfunding, which has seen public services run down.

One of the group presenting the petition on Friday was Shoana Qureshi-Khan, the CEO of Nottingham Counselling Services. She has seen staff accepting pay cuts along with a huge increase in volunteering, while trying to provide a service to people struggling with mental challenges often caused or exacerbated by cuts in other areas. She points out that further cuts will actually end up costing more, as other services will have to pick up the pieces when more people hit inevitable crisis situations.

Cuts in street maintenance mean more potholes, which lead to more accidents and again while on paper there are cuts to one department, the additional costs to others make no sense in an overall picture.

Several of the group work in the charity sector providing support to vulnerable and the most deprived members of our society. With likely closures due to cuts, communities will see an increase in crime, homelessness, drug abuse and suicide.

Mutsa Makaka, founder of Shifting Your Mindset charity asks what as a community we are doing if in a supposedly rich country we can’t even ensure that everyone gets at least one hot meal a day.

The petition was organised by new campaign group Resolve Nottingham who see the way forward as fighting top down governance which doesn’t listen to the needs of local people. They want to work together with the community to empower localised democracy and decision-making. This is a theme we’re starting to see emerging across the UK, as people turn away from conventional party politics in the shadow of a coming election that offers no real solutions to the very real issues communities are facing.