Eastbourne Lib Dems aim to reverse budget cuts at meeting today

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Liberal Democrat chief and Eastbourne council leader David Tutt will today (Tuesday) will propose an amendment to the Conservative budget aimed at reversing what the political group calls the most damaging cuts in service to adult social care and children’s services.

The council has to save millions of pounds off its budget and has proposed massive cuts.

But the Lib Dem group says it has an alternative solution.

Mr Tutt said, “Our proposals include reinstating monies for Older People Community Care; Older People Adults and Learning Disability directly provided services; Working Age Adult Care; Substance Misuse and a contribution to reduce the risk posed by potential over reliance on the Better Together Programme which is hoping the health care budget will backfill council cuts to the tune of £7million.

“With regard to children’s services, we want to see money for Locality Social Work: Early Years provision and reinstatement of money for the SPARK organisation which has done some fantastic work connecting voluntary and community groups for young people.

“The amendment also proposes to restore to the money being cut from Special Educational Needs which had been pushed back until after the county council elections.

“Liberal Democrats are also proposing money for Village Maintenance Support; additional highways maintenance and the establishment of a new Property Investment Fund aimed at producing a surplus to support future revenue budgets.”

Councillor Tutt says he will acknowledge what he described as the “relentless assault on local government finance” as a result of continued cuts in grant from the National Exchequer, but argue that local Conservative proposals go further than necessary.

He said, “My group believes the proposed cuts hit the most vulnerable in our community, those who cannot fight for themselves. These are the people who the Liberal Democrats are standing up for.”

Liberal Democrat shadow finance portfolio holder, Councillor Michael Blanch said, “The proposed cuts are not only unacceptable but also unnecessary as there are other ways of finding approximately £4million.”

The meeting is at County Hall this morning.