Labour’s leader in South Gloucestershire has accused the district’s Tories and Liberal Democrats of pretending that the council does not face cuts in its services.
This afternoon, councillors on the Policy and Resources Committee were asked to agree the public consultation questionnaire on next year’s budget. This document included a reference to “additional service cuts” if certain options are taken. Conservative councillors objected to the inclusion of the phrase “service cuts” and, supported by the Liberal Democrats, insisted on replacing it with “savings”. Labour made clear its support for the original wording.
Speaking after the meeting, Labour Leader Cllr Andy Perkins (Labour, Woodstock) said:
“The Tories and Lib Dems refuse to admit what everybody knows – that cuts being made by their political masters in government will result in cuts in services here in South Gloucestershire. It is a con to pretend that reduced budgets will result in efficiencies or savings that are not cuts in services. The council has already been forced to take tough decisions caused by reduced funding, for example on youth centres and Sure Start, that will result in cuts in the service the council can provide.”
Cllr Perkins continued:
“This afternoon’s committee meeting had already been told that the council faces a 10% cut in its Council Tax support funding, and that the cap of 2% on Council Tax increases announced at the Conservative Party Conference will mean that South Gloucestershire Council must identify a further £600,000 of annual savings. Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors pay lip service to openness and transparency but are afraid to use the clearest word available to describe the future – cuts.”
More info: Proposed questionnaire presented to councillors (see Q10)
Source: South Gloucestershire Labour