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Liberal Democrat responds to Cuts detail

June 15, 2010 4:39 PM

The Liberal Democrat Group has reacted to the news released last week that Leicestershire County Council will need to cut a further £9.9m from its budget following the Government's announcement of £6.5 Billion nationally.

Simon Galton, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, said: "It has been a very nervous few weeks since the £6.5bn announcement, and I have heard all sorts of figures suggested for what could be cut. The implications are that the Council will have to cut the £3.149 from projects and services that are important to local people with services to Children and Young People losing about £2.5m. On top of that we are expecting to lose around £2m of money from Transport and about £4m from Local Area Agreement reward grants.

Out of this it's the loss of the Area Based Grant (£3.149m) that concerns me most. This funding generally pays for the smaller programmes that deal with specific issues like Teenage Pregnancy and After School Activities. The loss of all of the other funding is damaging but the loss of this grant money will have a direct impact on frontline services.

At the same time, I welcome the flexibility that councils have been given through 'de-ring fencing' of grants. The previous Government operated a very centrally controlled regime that directed councils to run specific projects. The new freedoms mean that councils now have flexibility to move money around to protect local priorities.

The challenge now is to ensure that the Conservative administration acts sensitively and engages with key partners who provide some of these services as well as the people who use them.