Lib Dem protest over county’s budget cuts

Protestors outside the Eastbourne town Hall
Protestors outside the Eastbourne town Hall

BUDGET cuts by East Sussex County Council, which have seen 200 jobs axed, cuts in disabled respite care and children’s services cut by £6.9 million, were the subject of a protest by Liberal Democrat councillors last week.

Before Eastbourne Borough Council’s annual council budget meeting, the Lib Dems gathered outside the Town Hall to protest at the Conservative-run county council’s cuts and highlight the impact they have had on the local community.

The Lib Dems, who control the borough council, used the opportunity to point out the differences between the two council’s spending plans and said they had balanced the borough books to ensure there were no cuts in front-line services and jobs had been protected.

Eastbourne Borough Council leader and Liberal Democrat David Tutt said, “I am well aware of just how difficult the current financial climate is.

“Eastbourne council received one of the lowest government settlements across the south east of England but, despite this, because of the tough decisions we have taken over the past two years we are able to promise no cuts to front-line services while protecting jobs and retaining our grants to the voluntary sector.”

Cabinet member Gill Mattock, who is in charge of the purse strings at the borough council, said, “I think the difference between our budget and the one from county is absolutely shocking.

“The county council is cutting millions from children’s services, slashing the road maintenance budget, despite the growing number of potholes, and reducing the amount of money being spent on respite care - all this while keeping more than £100 million in reserves.

“Frankly, the county council has got its priorities all wrong.”