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Burntwood councillor says Tories have turned a blind eye to the local impact of austerity measures

Labour has accused Conservative councillors in Lichfield and Burntwood of turning a blind eye to the impact of widespread budget cuts.

Plans to charge for brown bin collections across the region are the latest in a line of cuts made as part of Lichfield District Council’s bid to plug a sizeable gap in its budget.

Reductions in government funding mean the local authority faces a £620,000 shortfall in 2018/19 and a further £2million the following year.

Cllr Iain Eadie, Cabinet member for waste management said last week that the local authority was spending 20% less on services than it was five years ago – and warned the council could not afford to carry on spending as it was.

Sue Woodward

Cllr Sue Woodward

Labour opposition group leader, Cllr Sue Woodward – whose party voted against plans to hike council tax by 3.1% – said the bleak picture showed the reality was hitting home for local Tories.

“Cllr Eadie has at last broken cover and highlighted the funding gaps in Lichfield District Council’s budget,” she said. “Until now, as the Government cuts have hit councils year on year, most of the Conservative councillors at Lichfield District Council have either ignored the unprecedented level of cuts or have pretended that it’s all business as usual.

“That can’t possibly be and some are still in denial – in fact, an election leaflet from Conservative candidates in the forthcoming county council elections talk of ‘low taxation coupled with better services’. This is in spite of the fact that both the district and county councils are increasing council tax to the maximum they are allowed and are slashing services.

“We are also seeing more and more charges imposed on individuals, whether the tip tax to dispose of DIY waste or now the bin tax on green waste”

Cllr Woodward also criticised the Government for its decision to cut the New Homes Bonus to fund a shortfall in social care for county councils.

She added: “The Government is robbing Peter to pay Paul or, in our case, robbing Mike [Wilcox, leader of Lichfield District Council] to pay Philip [Atkins, leader of Staffordshire County Council].

“It’s the ideological imposition of austerity measures which is devastating our public services and people are being asked to pay more to get less.”

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

5 Comments

  1. Agitatorofpeople

    6th March, 2017 at 9:21 am

    I thought the job of the “opposition” was to oppose, there are a number of Labour councillors which hold elected positions on the council that have an inside track of the workings of the majority party Conservatives and the plans they are pushing through.
    We have already worked out that Conservative Ideology and its funding cuts is hurting us and has affected our community, that is why more than a few of us “the public” have been making a noise about it here in the comments on Lichfield Live, we are hacked off!
    So what are you and Labour doing about it??

  2. B S W

    6th March, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    What would you have them do? Every area around us is a shade of Conservative blue.

    I agree that more noise needs to be made! I admire you commenting on here.

    I would love to see Labour get their hands dirty and go on an info-rampage. Bombarding us with the facts and data that show all the faults, all year round.

    Lichfield Live should easily be able to take over the space that has been left by both parties. In regards to how to effectively inform and educate the public to what is going on around them.

  3. Ken

    6th March, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    And, in other news, the pope is partial to a bit of unusual headgear.

    If this is the best that Labour have to offer with less than two-months to the county elections all I can say is heaven help us.

    Those that agree with the Tory austerity agenda will not be swayed by being told, for the umpteenth time, that it’s an unsound ideological imposition which is damaging society. Neither will Labour voters take much comfort from finger pointing – “Please, miss, it wasn’t us, it was them that made the mess!”

    Where are those who believe that elected officials should work for the greater good of EVERYONE in society supposed to mark their ‘X’ on May 4th if this is all that’s offered?

  4. Rob

    6th March, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    The more that charges are imposed on individuals the better the public will be aware of how much things actually cost, which can only be a good thing I’d have thought.

  5. Agitatorofpeople

    7th March, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Rob, is that charges for “other” people, the great feckless unwashed who are naive and have no idea how much things cost? or and this is probably closer to the mark, you are completely out of touch with a growing majority of people who are finding it increasingly hard to manage with what they already have, and are very aware of the “cost” of things, yet find it exceptionally hard to swallow that this council doesn’t appreciate the “value” of services which have been cut?
    By all means, keep on adding your “I’m alright Jack” additional charges, but lets see how that goes down with the electorate.