Labour Amendment Calling for Increased Spending on Important Services Voted Down

The Labour Group’s Budget Amendment has been voted down by Conservative and UKIP Councillors today at a meeting of Full Council.

The Labour Amendment demanded that the Council invests in key services to improve care and reduce costs in the long run. The Amendment proposed to maintain or increase spending on:

  • Children’s Services and specialist programmes that reduce costs and improve care by avoiding the need for children to be placed in care, or sent out of County
  • Adult Care services that are preventative and early-intervention to improve health and reduce the need for expensive nursing care, whilst improving standards in care homes
  • Roads and infrastructure to improve public transport, hospital parking and cycle and pedestrian safety; and to mend our potholed roads across the County
  • The Fire Service to reverse the cuts to our Fire Service and invest in new full-time day crews in Sudbury and Felixstowe, so that tragedies can be avoided in the future
  • The Library Service to ensure that all of Suffolk’s excellent Libraries remain open
  • And the Voluntary Sector, which already provides cost effective and vitally important statutory services

The Labour Amendment received support from most of the Council’s Opposition Parties but failed to achieve an overall majority as UKIP supported the Conservatives.

Labour Spokesperson for Finance, Len Jacklin, said “These are difficult times for Local Government, and no one can deny the need to be prudent. And that is exactly why we brought forward this amendment. It is no surprise to us that the more the Tories cut from their planned services, the more they have to spend on picking up the pieces. By cutting preventative programmes, which cost money, but helped avert all kinds of crisis and difficulties, the administration has created bigger problems that we are now beginning to see.”

Labour Group Leader, Sandy Martin, said “The Labour Group set out to provide a real alternative to a Conservative administration that has been defined by unsafe cuts. We gave Suffolk residents a vision for a County that would have robust services, good quality care and a level of spending that would be financially sustainable. Had this amendment passed, it would have provided much needed relief to numerous services and thousands of vulnerable people in the County, so I’m bitterly disappointed in the bloody-mindedness of the Conservative administration. I think the fact that UKIP voted with the Conservatives on this just demonstrates that they are NOT anti-establishment, they are Purple Tories.”

Cllr Martin added, “The choice ultimately now lies with Suffolk residents. With elections in May, they can bring about the change that is needed at the County Council. If the Labour Group is in an administration after Local Elections, we will seek to bring this Amendment into effect.”

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