former MP joins call for emergency budget meeting
former MP Tessa Munt and fellow Lib Dem county councillors have
called on the chair of Somerset County Council to hold an extraordinary
meeting to explain the Conservatives emergency budget.
Munt, pictured, says she wants to the scrutinise the budget in more
detail and ensure that it is sufficiently robust to avoid Government
officials stepping in and shutting down the County Council.
Lock, Lib Dem councillor and Opposition Leader, said in a stinging
political attack on Tuesday: "The fact that the annual budget
set in February complete with £11 million of cuts
has clearly failed to plug the gaps and they are now on another
£11 million round of cuts, should be a flashing warning sign
to everyone that the cabal of eight Conservative councillors making
these decisions is financially incompetent."
top of that £5 million of previously unacknowledged overspend
has come out of the woodwork. And we still havent had a satisfactory
answer on why another £4.9 million extra payment has been
handed to an outside contractor for care services."
at the latest statement, it appears that over £7 million of
unrecorded overspend was shunted forward into this years budget.
a party that prides itself on its financial acumen, they are not
very good at arithmetic. We have no confidence that the latest painful
cuts to essential services will deliver the savings required to
save the County from bankruptcy."
officers and councillors together at an extraordinary meeting to
explain how they have reached this point, and where Somerset goes
from here, is essential."
this latest budget does not deliver the savings the Tories are touting,
it will lead to the catastrophic situation where the Government
sends in the commissioners to run our local affairs from Westminster."
County Council says its budget cuts will save about £13m over
the rest of this financial year, and £15m in 2019/20.
previously reported the reactions
to the budget cuts from local Conservative county councillors.
council's leader David Fothergill said the model for funding local
authorities is "broken" and it was "absolutely the
most difficult set of decisions we have had to consider" in
making the necessary cutbacks.
to 130 jobs including 80 from the GetSet programme, which provides
support to vulnerable families, are being cut.
approved include reducing the winter gritting network from 23 to
16 routes - including gritting
routes in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge this winter - and a
removal of funding for Citizens Advice bureau services.