Council set to cut services to bare legal minimum
Further to Northampton’s well-documented problems ...
... now East Sussex ...
Grim news from the Northamptonshire Telegraph:
Community Law Service (CLS), formerly known as Welfare Rights, will have its Northamptonshire County Council contract terminated at the end of this month (September 2018).
Citizens advice services in Corby, Kettering, Daventry and South Northants, which work in partnership with CLS, will also have their grant withdrawn as part of £220,000 of savings being made from the information, advice and guidance service budget.
The organisations, which together offer specialist advice to more than 4,000 county residents each year, say the cuts will have a devastating effect and lead to more residents getting into debt, more families becoming homeless and more people developing mental health problems.
Somerset CC - ‘has unveiled plans to lose up to 130 jobs and cut major services so it can balance its books.
Somerset County Council has announced cutbacks to highways, public transport and special needs services. Staff will also be told to take two days unpaid leave for the next two years.
The authority needed to save £19.5m in 2017/18, but only made cuts of £11.1m.
Its chief executive said he had been left with “no choice” due to reduced funding from central government.
Other proposals include:
Reducing the winter gritting network from 23 to 16 routes
Suspending Taunton’s two park and ride services
Removal of funding for Citizens Advice bureau services
Cuts to adult social care and support for people with learning disabilities
Cutting funding, and 80 jobs, from the GetSet programme which helps prevent vulnerable young people ending up in social care
Leader of the Conservative-run council David Fothergill said the authority had now reached the “very sharp end” of continued austerity’.
A plan to scrap Northamptonshire’s eight councils has been backed by all but one of them.
The proposal to replace them with two unitary authorities from 2020 is to be sent to ministers ... and is expected to be approved.
Update re Somerset:
On Wednesday, the eight-person cabinet of Somerset county council voted through £28m of spending cuts, spread over the next two years. Over the previous six months, speculation had raged over whether Somerset would become the next Conservative-run council to join Northamptonshire in effectively going bankrupt and calling in government commissioners to sort out its mess.
And here was the answer, delivered at not much more than a week’s notice. To avoid a final disastrous plunge into the red, there would be a hacking-down of help for vulnerable families and children with special educational needs, youth services, road-gritting, flood prevention, and much more.