The full extent of the County Council’s proposed cuts for the financial year 2017/18 have been laid bare as its Cabinet Budget papers were released on Monday 16th January.
The Council has already made budget reductions of £34.4m for the current year to March, resulting in unpopular cuts to the Fire Service, community and passenger transport, Adult Social Care and the Voluntary Sector. The Budget papers for 2017/18 have revealed a further planned cut of £31.33m.
Labour Spokesperson for Finance, Len Jacklin, said “I am amazed at this administration’s continued lack of faith in the people of Suffolk. We may live in difficult economic times, but that is all the more reason to invest in the ambitions of our residents and tap into their abilities and energy. Instead of working for a better future, the callous and imprudent cuts proposed by the Conservatives will reduce Suffolk people’s ability to help each other and to thrive.”
He added “The projected overspend in Children and Young People’s Services – largely due to spiralling numbers of children being taken into care and put in expensive institutions, and the continuing crisis in the NHS and in Adult Social Care, which the Council intends to cut by a further £6m, are evidence of the failure of their approach. This Budget only promises more of the same tired ideas, with conditions, services and the lives of residents set to get worse as a result.”
Labour Group Leader, Sandy Martin, said “Once again, the Tory Council have used the financial meanness of their own government as an excuse to deliver a Budget that is short-sighted and counterproductive – these cuts will cost us all more in the long run. Instead of investing in services that save money and improve the care and safety of Suffolk residents, we have yet another round of unnecessary and unsafe cuts.”
Cllr Martin concluded, “Next month we will put forward a substantial Amendment to this Budget, using part of the County’s massive reserves to invest in a better economy and a safer Suffolk. And, if we are part of an Administration after Local Elections in May, we will seek to bring this Amendment into effect.”