After an eventful day including a profligate use of superglue, Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats managed to secure £649,000 of amendments to Gloucestershire County Council’s budget.
Successful changes to the budget included more money for local highway priorities, £150,000 to subsidise public transport, significant extra funding for public health priorities and a cancelling of cuts to services for people with physical disabilities.
The full breakdown of Liberal Democrat successes is:
- £265,000 additional funding for local highway priorities
- £150,000 to subsidise public transport that isn’t self-supporting
- £134,000 of cuts to services for people with a physical disabilities, scrapped
- £50,000 of funding to train more people in suicide prevention
- £50,000 to promote sexual health testing
Speaking on a successful day at the office, Cllr Hodgkinson, Lib Dem Group Leader, said:
“I am delighted that we have secured a raft of changes to the Conservative budget which will make a real difference to people’s lives. With huge year-on-year cuts to the Public Health budget, I am particularly pleased that we will be investing an additional £100,000 into key priorities; training frontline staff in suicide prevention and promoting sexual health testing.
“It is, however, disappointing to see that the Conservatives could not bring themselves to row back on ill-judged decisions on recycling centres and permit parking. I am sure the residents of Gloucestershire will make their dissatisfaction known in years to come.”
After seconding the Lib Dem proposals, Cllr Hilton, Spokesperson for Finance, said:
“I am very pleased that we managed to secure nearly £650,000 of funding for transport and public health priorities. We have improved the Conservative budget.
“Despite this, we cannot look at this wider budget as anything other than disappointing. This budget will include £20 million worth of cuts in services to the public, on top of an inflation busting council tax rise of 5%.
“In real terms, the services provided by the county council are £58 million less than ten years ago. Many council services are still struggling to perform adequately as a result of perpetual austerity handed down by the Conservatives.
“Ignore the spin; with cuts to services and dramatic cuts to the Public Health budget, even with our additional funding, it is clear that this is not a budget that supports vulnerable people.”