Leader of the Opposition on Somerset County Council Jane Lock is calling for the Tory administration to change their minds on the devastating £300000 cut to public transport.
Jane said "the most harmful part of that decision means that carers can no longer travel along with those they support without paying, the only authority in the South West to do so. For those who are visually impaired it is particularly harsh, in a rural county like ours we should be making life easier for people with disabilities not tougher. The Government gave Somerset an extra £2.9 million to be spent on services, instead it has been stuffed into reserves."
Jane Lock, leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Somerset County Council said :-
“The Conservatives who are reducing Somerset County Council to meltdown have imposed not one, not two, but THREE double whammies on the residents of Somerset in their budget.
Liberal Democrat County Leader Jane Lock has discovered that the Tory run Somerset County Council is paying over £1 million a month for Agency staff: Jane said:
"It is no wonder that the Tories have such trouble trying to balance the annual budget, whilst paying out over £1 million a month for Agency Social workers. This means that we are paying at least £6 million more a year than we should be paying if we were able to recruit full time staff"
Liberal Democrat Sam Crabb, County Shadow Resources Cabinet Member asks the key question:
"With an extra grant of £2.9 million for Somerset for the year 2016-2017. How do you think that money should be used?"
"It is likely that the Tory Administration will be tempted to reduce the impact of the rise in Council Tax, from 5.24% to perhaps 3.25%, however that would mean that all the cuts they are proposing to Full Council next Wednesday will go through. They have the opportunity to reduce the impact of dire cuts to front line services instead."
Liberal Democrat Sam Crabb, County Shadow Resources Cabinet Member reports:
"The Government will announce today a new "Transition Grant" to help the Councils worse affected by the recent changes to the calculation of the Revenue Support Grant. This includes a grant of £2.9 million for Somerset for the year 2016-2017 and a smaller grant for the year 2017-2018 of £1.9 million."