On Wednesday the Conservatives on South Gloucestershire set a budget containing £36 million in cuts in 2019-2022, including over £16 million from adult and children's social services. This was despite a 5.99% council tax rise, including 3% for social care services.
Last week Claire Young chaired a detailed scrutiny of the budget where the Conservatives admitted they don't yet know how many of these cuts will be made. While the Liberal Democrats support some elements, such as the ongoing commitment to keeping free parking to support our town centres and money for school improvement, we could not support a budget with so many holes and no proposals of how to fill them.
Councils across the country are being squeezed by the Conservative Government. An amendment, seconded by Claire, was passed noting with dismay the ongoing reduction in central government Settlement Funding for South Gloucestershire Council and its impact on the council's core spending power.