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BREAKING NEWS: Liberal Democrat shock at increased cuts prospect

August 27, 2010 3:07 PM

The Liberal Democrat Group has expressed shock and concern at the news that there could be more cuts to posts and frontline services in the County Council's budget. A report released by the Council shows that the savings the council will need to find over the next 4 years could increase from £66m to £88m and could be as high as £94m by 2014/15. The increase is the result of the anticipated Comprehensive Spending Review due to be announced in October.

Simon Galton, Group Leader said: "I am frankly shocked at the prospect of having to find more savings from an already tight budget. The problem as I see it is the failure of 13 years of Labour "borrow and spend" has made such a mess that it looks like councils will have take the brunt of more cuts. It is frankly a sad legacy that Labour leaves us with.

I am concerned that the Tories insistence on basing its entire budget strategy on 0% Council tax now looks less feasible. Originally the Tories promised this would only go ahead if the government could match the funding for two years, it is now clear the government can only fund one year and the cost will be a further burden on local services. We warned at the time that this could be a risky and unstable strategy and events look like they could prove us right.

At this stage it is no longer speculation, it is a question of how hard the Council is going to be hit. Our priority has always been to protect services the public depend on, and the staff that provide them. This will continue to be our focus in the coming months, and we will carry on highlighting areas of wasteful spending such as the £2.2million spent on PR."