Reading Labour have now published their budget for the coming year including £24.2 million worth of cuts. The council is in a dire financial situation partly due to Conservative government cuts and partly due to local Labour mismanagement (with a £7.5 million in year overspend on the Council budget this year). Cuts will continue until councils get together and stand up to the government.
The council is currently consulting on closing 9 out of 13 children's centres. Arthur Hill swimming pool in east Reading has been closed. Vulnerable adults have had care packages cut. Members of the public are suffering and understandably concerned as public services are cut at the same time as council tax goes up (Labour are proposing a 5% increase this year).
The budget is going to the Policy committee on Monday, February 13, but isn’t debated and voted on until full Council on Tuesday, February 21.
Budget papers can be found using this link. The report is very long. Pages 1-4 give a summary of the council’s dire financial position. Individual budget savings can be found in appendices 1A, 1B and 1C from page 31 onwards – most of these have been announced previously.
Green councillors will continue to stand up for public services. Why not get involved?