We must fund our public services properly

Today the Conservative administration at Cambridgeshire County Council has been holding private press briefings on the County Council’s budget for the coming year.

Journalists are being told about the significant cuts which are being pushed through, cuts being made to Children’s Centres, savings on concessionary bus fares, among other reductions in services.

These are savings which could have been avoided if local Conservative councillors had made different choices here in Cambridgeshire.  For the past two years Cambridgeshire’s Conservative councillors have raised council tax by 2 per cent, while central government expected 4 per cent or 5 per cent rises.

Cambridgeshire was the only county council to increase council tax by only 2 per cent last year. Other counties all raised tax by at least 3 per cent.

If Cambridgeshire County Council had raised council tax by 4 per cent rather than 2 per cent for the past two years, they would have an additional £10 million in the revenue budget this year.  More than enough to save our children’s centres and improve our bus services.

An additional 2 per cent on Cambridgeshire’s council tax would cost an average household 50p a week. Single person households get a council tax reduction, those in smaller houses pay less.

For that small additional amount we could have our roads gritted, our potholes filled, our schools better funded, and our children’s centres kept open. This is the choice Conservative councillors have made.

The Liberal Democrats on Cambridgeshire County Council will continue to argue that we achieve more by working together, and that we must fund our public services properly, starting at home here in Cambridgeshire.

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