Labour councillors in South Gloucestershire have expressed their disappointment that Council departments in the Conservative council are making the delivery of millions of pounds worth of savings their first priority.
The Council is in the midst of a multi-million pound savings programme put in place to deal with the cuts in its funding, with worse expected to follow as the Conservative government ramps up its austerity programme. Labour views the huge scale of these cuts as damaging to local services, and councillors have been shocked to read reports going to two of the Council’s committees today that put delivering savings totalling £8 million as their first key priority identified for the coming year.
This comes after recent announcements by the Conservative council of work going on behind the scenes on further damaging cost-cutting proposals, such as the closure of Kingswood Civic Centre.
Commenting on today’s reports, Labour’s Lead Member on Resources issues, Councillor Adam Monk (Labour, Filton), says:
“Everyone at the Council realises that we have to make £80 million worth of cuts this decade. We in Labour regard this as unwelcome and excessive, and forced on us by the scale of the government’s cutbacks.
It says a lot about the culture at the Council that since the Conservatives took overall control in May, our Council departments feel they have to make delivering the savings their first priority, ahead of all their service provision and positive ambitions that we believe they should have.”