Liberal Democrat Councillors say Labour budget cuts will hit the most vulnerable and the Labour Council needs to think again.
Liberal Democrat Councillors have pointed to a long list of damaging front line service cuts included in Labour’s Council Budget and have identified the following £1.68M list as the most worrying:
- £281,000 cuts in education funding.
- £200,000 cut by closing St. Kilda’s Children’s Home.
- £480,000 cut in projected payments to private residential and nursing homes – an effective freeze at current prices.
- A £100,000 cut in Learning and Physical Disability Support.
- £66,000 cuts in employment promotion.
- £50,000 cut in cemeteries and the crematorium grounds maintenance.
- £78,000 cut in street cleaning and weed spraying.
- £325,000 cut in street light replacements.
- £100,000 cancellation of the Equalities Agency project.
“It is outrageous they are putting forward cuts in education at a time when Luton schools are struggling to get somewhere near National average performance, cuts in employment promotion when more Luton people are losing their jobs and youngster find it impossible to find work, cuts the fees paid to private care homes when they are closing Council run homes”, says Liberal Democrat Prospective candidate for Luton South, Qurban Hussain.
“Labour’s finance chief, Councillor Harris, keeps on saying there are no service cuts in his budget but it is simply not true. He may have convinced himself, and seems to have convinced his labour colleagues, but the savage cuts are there for all to see. You only have to look at the details of the budget he has produced.”
When the Council budget was discussed at the full Council meeting on Wednesday evening (17th February) Liberal Democrat Councillors moved to send it back to the Council’s Labour executive but the move was defeated by the Labour majority at the meeting.
“It now looks like these cuts will go ahead,” said Liberal Democrat leader, David Franks. “I do not envy them the task of explaining to dedicated and talented young musicians why their chances of reaching high standards in their music are being diminished, why their ambition to make a career in music will be much harder to achieve.”