Council budget cuts prompt calls for emergency meeting

Posted On 26 May 2010 at 12:45 pm

Brighton and Hove City Council’s opposition has called for an emergency meeting to discuss the impact of a national £1.2 billion cut to local government spending.

This week, chancellor George Osborne said councils would be expected to save the money as part of urgent cuts of £6.2 billion from “wasteful spending”.

Leader of the  local Labour party Gill Mitchell said: “The massive cut to council budgets is part of the Tory and Lib Dem package of £6.2bn cuts to be made in this financial year.

“If local councils are also being expected to make in-year cuts then the full council must be convened to fully debate the further cuts to resident’s services that will be made by this Conservative council.

Spacewords Brighton

“Taking these important decisions in a public forum is the responsible thing to do and will ensure there are no backdoor cuts.”

“Labour councillors will fight any further cuts to front line services and job losses in the city. We would like to see some of the £9 million that is stashed in the council’s reserves, be used to protect jobs and essential services like local education, all youth facilities and training programmes.”

Cllr Mitchell also raised serious concerns at the ending of £1.7 billion ring-fenced funding to local authorities.  She said:  “This will mean that this council can continue to take money that was meant for funding things like activities for disabled children, special education support and drug treatment programmes.

“In Brighton and Hove this year, the Conservative administration has already taken £600,000 from SureStart Children Centres and used it for things such as artificially keeping down council tax by stashing millions in reserves and plugging holes elsewhere in the budget.

“Labour councillors will also fight for services currently run from ring-fenced budgets to continue.”

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