Conservative Budget Bombshell

June 2, 2014 1:30 PM

Concerned by the way Conservative consultations about closures of care homes, day centres, youth services, meals on wheels, children's homes and centres have been handled, Liberal Democrats have produced an alternative budget that would help to protect many of the services under threat.

Astonished at the way young people were prevented from speaking at the council's budget meeting in February and council care staff stopped from giving their views at a recent cabinet meeting, the Lib Dems have said 'enough is enough' and forced through a special meeting of the council to challenge the Conservatives plans.

Crediton County Councillor

Newcombes Resources Centre standing empty and covered in weeds.

The Council's former Newcombes Resources Centre standing empty and covered in weeds.

Nick Way, who opposes the cuts and voted against the Conservatives budget, said "Increasingly, very important decisions which effect the elderly, young and vulnerable are being taken behind closed doors without public debate. Most cabinet meetings are little more than a rubberstamp exercise. People deserve better than this."

Crediton Ward councillor John Downes added "We have been involved in discussions with several organisations and the service users looking at ways and opportunities to mitigate these cuts on the individuals and their families".

As the Conservative administration at County Hall prepare to cut services across the county to reduce the council's budget, the people and families affected await their final decisions. In Crediton, the cash strapped authority has allowed Newcombes Resource Centre, a valuable building and site worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, to lie empty and become overgrown with weeds. The Centre once housed a group which now uses the day centre at Market Street which is itself threatened with closure.

Lawrence ward councillor Bob Wright says "This is a waste of public money. Newcombes stands in a prime site in the middle of the town. The building has been empty for over five years. The council has not used it during this time despite several expressions of interest from community organisations".

Lib Dems have questioned the poor use of public assets on several occasions and have again written to the council for an explanation on behalf of local council tax payers.