Lib Dems outraged at £28m County Hall cuts

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DESPITE securing a freeze in council tax Liberal Democrats in south Northants have labelled the county council’s budget an outrage.

Last week Northants County Council agreed budget savings of £28 million, which includes the scrapping of a £500,000 fund to provide PCSOs.

The money saving plans were agreed by NCC’s Conservative leaders during a marathon, six hour meeting at County Hall on Thursday, February 24.

The budget will mean almost 300 council jobs will be cut, charges for adult social care will rise, £500,000 will be taken away from children’s centres and the council will cut the money it currently gives to fund the PCSOs.

Chris Lofts, recently elected to represent Towcester at NCC, said he had spent weeks talking to people on their doorsteps during his election campaign.

He said: “The consistent message from people was anger that street lights had been switched off, PCSOs were being sacked and libraries were under threat.

“Now the county Tories have added insult to injury by cutting social service budgets and increasing fees and charges for our most vulnerable residents.”

Lisa Samiotis, who was recently elected to represent Towcester on South Northants Council, said their clear victory during the double by-election last month showed that voters were fed up.

She added: “The elderly want to be able to walk the streets at night without feeling vulnerable because of the lack of lighting, parents want their children to be able to walk to school safely.

“It is the duty of the council to keep our residents safe and instead they are making petty savings by cutting streetlights and school crossing patrols ’

Bill Parker, county council cabinet member for finance, said there was money in the budget to support the police’s fight against violent crime.

He added: “I’m sure Northamptonshire residents will be grateful that more money will be staying in their pockets.”