“Council cuts will bite us all” say Lib Dems

Gloucestershire County Council is facing a massive cut in its grant from Government next year.

The Council’s future financial position is under scrutiny by the Liberal Democrats and many searching questions will be asked of the Conservative Cabinet Member for Finance & Change, Cllr. Ray Theodoulou at the next Cabinet Meeting held at Shire Hall on Wednesday 30th September.

The Cabinet papers published today for the Cabinet Meeting at the end of the month reveal large overspends and severe reductions to next year’s forecast budget.

The 2015/2016 financial monitoring report shows a hefty overspend of £7.1 million with regards to services for Older People and Adults with Physical Disabilities.

The forecast overspend has increased from £3.4million reported in July this year to £7.1million now forecast.

There were also other over-spends in services to Adults with Learning Disabilities, Mental Health Services, Community Equipment and Telecare and other budgets totalling £2.5million.

The Liberal Democrat Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance & Change, Cllr. Paul Hodgkinson (LD: Northleach and Bourton-On-The-Water) said:

“If the current overspends weren’t bad enough, a huge 13.6% overall reduction in the council’s core funding has also been forecast for 2016/17, which in cash terms will result to an estimated £16million cut to the council’s 2015/2016 budget.

“The current overspends and a further decrease in the budget next year will have serious implications for all council services and for all residents.

“I fear that it will be the most vulnerable that will be hit the hardest. 

“Let’s not forget that these are Conservative cuts, which are ideologically driven and not economical. The reductions in local government settlements in our county and across the country are unnecessary and need to be challenged every step of the way.”

The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton also commenting on the Council’s financial position said:

“The contents of today’s published papers for the next Cabinet Meeting are deeply alarming. The Conservative Government should be ashamed of the level of cuts that are being forecast.

“They are both unnecessary and vindictive. The Leader of this Council, Cllr. Mark Hawthorne must start challenging the unscrupulous party of which he is very much a part.”

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