Labour councillors on Suffolk County Council today submitted an amendment to the 2014 budget challenging the Conservative administration to think again over its damaging cuts proposals.
The amendment, proposed by Labour Group Leader Cllr Sandy Martin, identifies seven of the most punitive cuts and seeks to reverse them.
These include cuts to the Supporting People programme, training and development of adult social care staff as well as the proposed cuts to the Learning and Improvement Service for schools.
Cllr Martin said “We are fundamentally against cutting services that protect older people and the education service. We cannot afford to cut services to these people at this time. In a time of austerity we need to ensure that the most vulnerable are protected”.
The changes to the budget will be paid for by putting less money into the contingency reserve. The Contingency Reserve is a sum of money that is not allocated for a specific purpose and under the current budget proposals from the Conservative administration is set to increase by £5m to £17.1m.
Cllr Martin continued “It is a scandal that, whilst this Conservative administration is cutting services, they are proposing to squirrel another £5.7m away. Our proposals mean that a smaller amount goes into the reserves, but we refuse to gamble with people’s lives. The most expensive place for people to stay is in hospital or in prison and this Conservative budget means more people will end up in either”.
The Labour Group have also committed to providing more support and assistance to the Educational Welfare team who ensure school attendance is high and to provide more support to those suffering from Autism and ADHD.
The County Council will vote on the budget and the amendment today.