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Liberal Democrats on Kent County Council

Liberal Democrats vote against Conservative Budget Proposals

February 20, 2018 7:15 PM

Out of touch Conservatives are cutting front line services to Kent's most vulnerable, despite awarding themselves a massive 15% pay rise last year.

In today's budget debate the Conservatives at Kent County Council pushed through further service cuts and hiked council tax by an above inflation 4.99%.

This is a gloomy picture for the people of Kent, particularly those struggling at the margins, and an even gloomier prospect for Kent residents and council tax payers in the future.

Leader of the Opposition, Rob Bird, said: "Back in July, Kent's Conservatives showed just how out of touch they are by awarding Rob Birdthemselves a 15% pay rise just a couple of months after the county elections.

"This budget demonstrates that they have learnt nothing from the massive public outcry that caused, and they continue to be focused on cutting local government services when they should be investing for the future.

"For the past seven years, Kent's Tories have tried to persuade the electorate that front-line services were not affected by the £600 million plus reduction in Central Government grants thanks to back office efficiencies, better commissioning and 'new ways of working'. The reality is very different.

"Even with the extra monies found since the draft was published a few weeks ago, we were presented with a budget which fails to meet current needs and rising demand. It heaps up problems for future years.

"KCC has become heavily dependent on commissioned service providers. But we have seen that we are still not getting the quality of service which residents expect from many of these providers."

During the debate, Conservative councillors voted down all opposition budget amendments including the three proposed by the Liberal Democrats.

Rob concluded, "Yet again the Council continues to be focussed on cutting costs when it should be investing for the future. The Administration claim that it's the Government's fault. But it's a Conservative Government and a Conservative Administration; they are both still out of touch."