Liberal Democrat and Labour councillors have come under fire for offering no solutions to the £49 million budget challenge faced by Bath and North East Somerset Council.
At the Council’s budget meeting on Tuesday, 14th February, Conservatives criticised Lib Dem and Labour councillors for failing to put forward any alternatives to the Council’s budget savings and offering no answers to deal with the financial the challenge.
Chairman of the B&NES Conservative Group, Cllr Paul Myers, said:
“Like all councils across the country, Bath & North East Somerset Council is facing a significant financial challenge and it is incumbent upon all councillors of whatever political party to work together in coming up with answers to this challenge.
“Sadly, despite their criticism of the budget, Lib Dem and Labour councillors put forward no alternatives and offered no solutions to the Council’s budget challenge.”
On the Lib Dems’ approach to the budget, Cllr Myers said:
“When the Lib Dems ran the Council, they presided over numerous budget fiascos – including cuts and attempted cuts to Children’s Centres, Citizen’s Advice, the Mobile Library, Public Toilets, as well as plans to introduce parking charges in free community car parks.
“The previous Lib Dem Council had to save £33 million – less than we do now – yet still had to plug their budget using one-off reserves, handing over a £1.5 million black-hole to the next administration.
“When part of the Coalition Government, the Lib Dems supported the need to reduce the national budget deficit – now in opposition they offer no solutions to the challenges we face.”
On Labour Councillors’ approach to the budget, Cllr Myers commented:
“The last Labour government nearly bankrupted the country – leaving behind a record budget deficit and a note saying ‘there’s no money left’. Until the Labour party come up with some genuine solutions to the budget challenges we face both locally and nationally, I think residents will struggle to take their criticisms seriously.
“To see the approach Labour take to running a Council, you only need to look over the border at Labour-run Bristol City Council, which is making far deeper cuts to services than here in B&NES – including library closures, huge cuts to local parks, a £1.5 million cut to Children’s Centres, and half a million pounds taken away from homelessness support.”