Labour Promises line by line scrutiny of City Budget Proposals

Councillor George Owers, Labour’s Lead on Finance on Cambridge City Council, has commented after Budget plans for 2014/15 were released by the City’s Liberal Democrats. George Owers

Councillor Owers said: “This Budget reflects the financial consequences for Cambridge of the coalition government's assault on local government. The policies supported by the Liberal Democrats in government, particularly the swingeing cuts Eric Pickles is making to our grant, mean that the City will have to find over £6 million in savings by 2017/18. The result is proposals for a number of savings and cuts in important and sensitive areas such as youth services, community centres and pest control, which will we examine line by line to see what we can support and where we might look for different or additional savings. Many of our proposals from last year for greater savings or generating more income, for instance through active investment in commercial property in Cambridge, have been quietly included in this Budget.

Councillor Owers added: “It is strange though that at a time of acute financial pressure and proposals to cut key services £1.5 million can be found for a vaguely defined Keep Cambridge Moving Fund. We want to examine this very carefully and make sure that the City is not picking up the tab for things the County Council should be doing or which might be funded alternatively, for instance by the City Deal’s £500 million transport element. We know that every pound is important to residents and don’t want to see money wasted as it was on the failed District Heating Scheme, which this report reveals has now been abandoned.”

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