Labour’s Leader on Cambridgeshire County Council has vowed to bring down the budget planned for 2016-17 unless his demands are met by the Tory Group. The authority, which is under no overall control, will vote on its budget for the year ahead at a full council meeting on 16 February.
But Cllr Ashley Walsh, Leader of the Labour Group, has announced that Labour will unite a majority against the Tory Group unless it accepts the ‘social care levy’ announced by Chancellor George Osborne for cash-strapped councils to provide adult services. The Conservative Group recently caused controversy when it announced that it does support the levy.
Cllr Walsh said: ‘I will unite the other political groups in opposition to the Tories’ vicious budget proposals unless they accept that the County Council will not be able to cope without the social care levy.
This year we have seen our national funding fall more than every other council in the country except one. We will not be able to provide basic adult social care services without the extra funding promised by the Conservative Group’s own Chancellor. There is a majority against the Tory budget at the County Council and we will unite it in order to force the Tories out of their fantasy world and make them accept their own party’s policy.'
Cllr Walsh added: ‘By 2020, the County Council will have no funding at all from national government. It has faced ongoing assaults since the coalition government was elected in 2010 and we have now made all possible efficiency savings. Unless we accept the social care levy, we will be cutting into the marrow of the bone and ripping support away from the most vulnerable in our county. Even George Osborne, a man not known for his generosity in public spending, recognises the reality. I will not stand by and let the Tories get away with it. Until they accept the social care levy, they will not get their budget.’