Lib Dem Budget response: Tories have cut to the bone, now they dismantle the bone marrow

February 13, 2013 6:42 PM

The hunger for a good headline has seen the Tories running Brentwood Council set a budget that will see the council make a £477K dent in the council's reserves, increase rents for council tenants and cut staffing even further, risking the ability to offer the services people need and hitting the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community.

Cllr David Kendall, Lib Dem leader, said:

"This right wing Tory budget not only protects the richest people in our borough but also heralds a major change in how our council is run. We cannot support what is in the budget because of a lack of information about how this is going to be delivered or the corporate plan that has been introduced by the Tories with on 14 responses from its consultation.

"Our government grant is the worst in Essex, despite our MP, Eric Pickles, being the government minister responsible for local government. Although I asked her three times, Cllr McKinlay could not tell me what representations she had made to Mr Pickles to get the best for Brentwood residents.

"£477K has been taken from reserves to plug a funding gap leaving only £3m - just £0.5m below the minimum level recommended by the council's senior financial officer.

"They have increased the council housing rents and hit the people who can least afford it.

"They have halved the money available to community projects.

"They have failed to come up with any innovative projects for the town to increase revenue in to the council.

"They have failed to answer direct questions about how our services will be delivered."

Liberal Democrats fear for the future of Brentwood if the Conservatives remain in charge much longer.