The Green Group on the County Council are suggesting a small Council Tax rise of 2.5%, above the proposed 1.9%, with the intention of preventing a range of cuts to front line services.
The Green Group continues to press for a referendum to make this possible. The County Council meet this week to decide on its annual budget from April. The Green Group budget amendments include averting the £3 million pound cut in the Children’s Centres foreseen in future years and are also focused upon protecting the elderly and the vulnerable by reversing cuts in Adult Social Care.
Cllr David Williams Leader of the Green Group said:
“By reversing over £2 million pounds worth of cuts to the Learning Disability service and keeping the Laundry and Meals service for the elderly and infirm, the major thrust of Green Party amendments protect the elderly, children and the vulnerable. The Greens would restore half a million pounds to the Emergency Social Fund, a pot of money focused on helping the destitute and over £1.5 million to support the homeless the County Council could provide some shielding for the those who were most at risk from Government cuts in state benefits.
“We can claim a partial victory already as the County have found £4m which is now being applied to Adult Social Care. £4m is not enough to save the services and much much more must be found if these heartless cuts are to be reversed. We have provided enough in our budget for the County to abandon the controversial Home to School Transport cuts where the County insist they will not pay for school buses for certain children. Councillor Williams says that there is enough in their commitment of nearly one and half million pounds to Rural Bus Subsidies to retain most of the proposed cuts to buses serving rural communities. He suggested that if these bus services were cut a number of people will be put out of work and many villages will become even more isolated.
“I believe that the people of the County would support the very small increase that would amount to an average of 26 pence extra per week if it were a matter of providing the protection to the sick, the elderly, disabled children and those who are the most vulnerable in our community.”