The County Council Cabinet today voted through the proposed Budget for the financial year 2017/18.
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 Cabinet have now agreed for a further cut of £31.33m. for financial year 2017/18.
Labour Spokesperson for Finance, Len Jacklin, said “As a former business owner, I will never argue against genuine cost efficiencies when they can be made. However, I will always oppose short sighted financial planning that fails to meet our needs and costs us more in the long run. That is what this Budget offers us – short term cuts, long term problems.”
He added “As we can see in the projected overspend in Children and Young People’s Services – which is largely due to increasing numbers of children being taken into care or being sent to out of county provision – by cutting the facilities and programmes that help avert family difficulties and prevent children going in to care, the administration has successfully saved pennies only to cost us all pounds later and it is the most vulnerable in our society that suffer as a result.”
Labour Group Leader, Sandy Martin, said “Whether it is our pot-holed roads, our overstretched Fire Service or our struggling Care Homes, the consequences of years of cuts and mismanagement are beginning to become visible. By using a little more of their enormous reserves, now is the time for the administration at Suffolk County Council to invest in preventative services that will save us money in the long-term and ensure the safety of Suffolk residents and businesses.”