County Council approves multi-million pound huge cutbacks
Somerset County Council has this week agreed major cuts to services
including highways and social care in a bid to balance its books.
Conservative-run council cabinet unanimously approved the action
at a meeting on Wednesday (September 12th).
were protests outside Shire Hall by members of the Unison union
and The People's Assembly.
cuts will have "a huge impact" and "affect the most
vulnerable", opponents have claimed.
council leader's David Fothergill, pictured, said the model
for funding local authorities was "broken" and it was
"absolutely the most difficult set of decisions we have had
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.
to 130 jobs including 80 from the GetSet programme, which provides
support to vulnerable families, will also be cut.
council said the cuts would save about £13m over the rest
of this financial year, and £15m in 2019/20.
to cut funding for the Young Carers Project, which supports children
and teenagers, have been deferred until the new year.
Simon Coles said the authority was "gambling with people's
were cries of "shame" and a clapping protest during the
early stages of the meeting.
councillor Mike Rigby suggested Conservative councillors should
resign and claimed they had been "hung out to dry" by
councillors and the Unison union called for an emergency full council
meeting to discuss the cuts.
Ashford, from a foodbank provider, said that the cuts were "all
to those providing services for the most vulnerable".
days unpaid for all staff and councillors for the next two
years (subject to consultation). (approx. £1m)
Reducing the winter
gritting network from 23 to 16 routes (£120,000)
County Councils funding for Tauntons two Taunton Park
and Ride services. (£170,000). These will now be funded by
Taunton Deane Borough Council until September 2019.
Removal of administration
funding from the four district Citizens Advice Bureau services,
protecting the grant (£469,000)
Reduction in the
Councils early help support, including getset services and
Youth Services (£2.2m)
to reserves (£1.9m)
Changes to Learning
Disability contract (£770,000)
reducing ICT contracts and licences (£129,000)