Liberal Democrat Leader on Hampshire County Council, Councillor Adrian Collett, is calling on Hampshire’s Tory MPs to explain why they all sat on the fence when the cash settlement for Hampshire County Council, which is well below the average rise given to other councils, was agreed by the House of Commons.
Every Hampshire Tory MP abstained rather than vote against the proposal for Hampshire to have a rise of only 2.0%, which is far less than the average increase of 3.6%.
“The low rise in the amount of money from central government to help pay towards council costs in Hampshire will mean a tight year ahead for local services,” said Cllr Collett. “The rise barely takes into account inflation and the additional costs of services the government requires councils to provide.
“The end result is that councils are being forced to increase council tax above inflation and cut services. It is a case of pay more and get less under Labour. Already it is clear that Hampshire Tories are planning yet another wave of bus service cuts, and £1m reduction in the Causalty Reduction Programme and the Library Book Fund will almost certainly be raided again.
“So I find it remarkable that not a single Conservative MP in Hampshire bothered to oppose this poor deal when the vote was taken and make a stand for our area. Local residents and council tax payers are owed an explanation.
“It seems that the Conservatives are failing to mount a strong challenge to the Labour government and are content to sit back and let Gordon Brown’s Labour government get on with things. The only party to vote against the council cash plans in Parliament and stand up for local residents were the Liberal Democrats.”
Press release supplied by Cllr Collett.