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“Northamptonshire Tories are making the wrong choices and hitting the vulnerable hard” Cllr Chris Stanbra

December 11, 2012 7:14 AM
By Daventry Liberal Democrats

The Deputy Leader of the Official Liberal Democrat Opposition at County Hall, Cllr Chris Stanbra, has responded to the Conservatives budget proposals today.

Cllr Stanbra said "The Conservatives continue to target the voluntary sector and frontline services to the vulnerable with their cuts in Northamptonshire. The finances have been worsened by the Conservatives incompetence locally. The latest example being the £3m needed to prop up the school meals service that they have bungled so badly."

"The disabled still face unspecified hikes in charges, the voluntary sector supporting vulnerable people still faces devastating cuts, and the axe remains dangling over libraries."

"There are new cuts too - meals on wheels appears in their sights. There are proposals for massive cuts to the staffing budgets for children's social services of £3.65m. How can we ensure that vulnerable children are protected in Northamptonshire with cuts on that scale? There is also an increase in the cuts to staff pay and conditions over and above the £4m being consulted on."

"The Conservatives have at least partly changed their minds and listened to the Liberal Democrats on funding for community safety, despite voting down Lib Dem calls to put more money in only a couple of months ago. Let us hope that the £300k they are spending goes to protect the community and not to fund the sprawling office of the new Tory Police Commissioner. However many streetlights remain switched off and the funds for PCSOs the Tories cut last year have not been restored."

"At the same time as the front line is being cut, vast sums are still being spent on the back office. NEP - the Tories business Quango that spends half its budget on the back office - will still receive £1.75m of taxpayers money this year. The Conservatives have only cut a measly £200k from their Business Intelligence division - another massive back office empire."

"Yet again we see Northamptonshire Tories making the wrong choices with the money available. The Liberal Democrats want to protect frontline services that local people and the vulnerable rely on and cut the back office. The Conservatives are failing miserably."