Thursday, 23 February 2012

"Conservative budget" voted through

At full Council earlier in the week Labour's budget was voted through with support from the Lib Dems and Conservatives. We had been critical of this budget because we thought it left Reading residents worse off especially the most vulnerable.

Our specific concerns centred around some of the Conservative cuts from last year that we wanted to see reversed such as changes to eligibility criteria (adult social care) and cuts to bus fare concessions for the elderly. We also felt that some cuts this year such as to the transport budget for children with special educational needs went too far.

As we expected our amendment for a small council tax increase to safeguard services and put us in a better financial position this year and next was defeated.

It was interesting to note that pretty much every Conservative who spoke said something along the lines of "I am supporting this budget because it is a Conservative budget and it maintains our policies from last year".

I am now braced for the next salvo of Labour leaflets which will undoubtedly and ironically attack us for trying to protect public services and the people that use them.

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