Cuts in Oxfordshire

April 26, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Posted in South East | Comments Off on Cuts in Oxfordshire
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Tory-run Oxfordshire Council has announced cuts of £106million over the next 5 years, affecting youth projects and young people.

The cuts include:

  • Four Fire Service Cadet Schemes to be axed
  • Start up funds for youth group projects axed
  • Home to School transport scheme to be cut, increasing fares for pupils
  • Four outdoor education centres which provide lessons for over 40 schools must become self-financing or will be axed
  • Wardens in sheltered accommodation axed
  • 15,000 street lights to be switched off overnight
  • Residents parking permits to rise by 25% and more streets included in the scheme

Councillor Liz Brighouse, Leader of the Labour Group, Oxfordshire County Council

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Tory-run Brighton slashes investment in young people

April 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Posted in South East | Comments Off on Tory-run Brighton slashes investment in young people
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David Cameron says,

“Before people break the law, we need strong families, we need youth clubs, we need things to divert people away from crime, strong schools.”

Yet Tory-run Brighton and Hove Council has slashed investment in young people in its budget for 2010-11.

The Government is giving Brighton £1.1 million funding to fund its Sure Start programme.  But Brighton Council is taking £600,000 of that money to plug the holes in its budget instead of spending it on giving local children the best possible start in life.

Brighton Connexions provides a one-stop-shop of information and advice on careers, training, health and housing for 13-19 year olds.  This will face a cut of £200,000 in the Tory budget for 2010/11.

Brighton Council are also cutting £126,000 from youth offending services.

Information from Councillor Gill Mitchell, Labour Leader, Brighton and Hove Council

Swindon Tories slash budgets and raise charges

April 25, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Posted in South East | Comments Off on Swindon Tories slash budgets and raise charges
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Philip Hammond, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, says the Tories will,

“Deliver the intelligent cuts that are needed to protect and secure our frontline public services for our children.”

But the Tories running Swindon council have axed:

  • 77,000 from Shopmobility
  • £56,000 from Community Meals
  • £45,000 from Enterprise Works, a local business that employs mentally and physically disabled people and is subsidised by the council
  • £25,000 from teenage pregnancy support
  • 10% of the youth services budget
  • Bus services to outlying villages
  • Street lights at night to save money

They have increased charges by:

  • Up to 68% on the weekly rental charge for residential homes for the elderly
  • 23% for Meals on Wheels

They also proposed cutting £50,000 from the local Dial-A-Ride service.

This is an example of the Tories saying one thing locally and another nationally.

Tories slash spending on Citizens Advice in Sevenoaks

April 25, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Posted in South East | Comments Off on Tories slash spending on Citizens Advice in Sevenoaks
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David Cameron says he wants to,

“Create a supportive funding environment for volunteer-based charities and community groups.”

But Tory-run Sevenoaks has cut £10,000 from budgets for the local Citizens Advice Bureau and other voluntary groups whilst spending nearly £100,000 a year on civic dignitaries.  They spent £12,000 alone on a Civic Dinner.

Tory Dartford to charge for recycling

April 24, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Posted in South East | Comments Off on Tory Dartford to charge for recycling
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David Cameron says that we should encourage a “Green Consumer Revolution” by rewarding recycling.

His Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Nick Herbert, says a scheme where the public are paid to recycle is “impressive” and that,

“We need to think far more creatively about how to reward consumers for doing the right thing.”

But Tory-run Dartford is introducing an annual £30 charge for anyone who wants to recycle their garden waste.

This is an example of how the Tories are still true blue rather than green.

Sleaze in Medway

April 24, 2010 at 12:34 pm | Posted in South East | Comments Off on Sleaze in Medway
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The Conservatives say that they,

“Want to restore the reputation of politics.”

But a Kent local paper has raised concerns of about alleged sleaze and bad behaviour by Medway Tories.

Read more here

Unfair in Southampton

April 22, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Posted in South East | Comments Off on Unfair in Southampton
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While any council can take up the Labour’s Government’s plan for free
swimming, many Tory Councils have refused, leaving pensioners and young families to pay.

The philosophy was set out by the Tory Leader of Southampton Council, Alec
Samuels:

“We do not in principle favour ‘free this and free that’, such as swimming or transport, school meals or computers or whatever it is.”

Norfolk Tories propose shutting day centres for the elderly

April 22, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Posted in South East | Comments Off on Norfolk Tories propose shutting day centres for the elderly
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The Conservative website says,

“We need to help those elderly people who are amongst the most vulnerable in our society”.

Tory-run Norfolk Council are proposing to close two day centres for older people in the face of  local opposition.  The closure of the Essex and Silver Room centres will reduce the number of day services places by 300. At the current occupancy rate this will displace up to 188 people from their current day centres.

Unacceptable art dealing by Southampton Tories

April 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm | Posted in South East | Comments Off on Unacceptable art dealing by Southampton Tories
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The Tories say they are,

“Committed to fostering an environment in which sport, the arts, and the creative industries can flourish.”

But in Tory-run Southampton, the Council has been found by The Charity Commission to have acted in an unacceptable manner in an attempt to sell off art from the city’s collection.

The Council were looking to sell a sculpture by Rodin and a painting by Munnings from the city’s Chipperfield Bequest.

This is a fund set up by former Southampton city councillor Robert Chipperfield and funds art for public use.  Southampton has the largest public art collection outside of London.

Any sale of art from this collection must be used for the purchase of more art or provide support to the collection. The sale of art is legal but instead of looking to buy more art with the proceeds from an art gallery or at an auction, the Tory administration proposed to “buy” art the City Council already owns in other parts of the overall art collection, but outside the direct ownership of the Chipperfield Bequest.

Once done the money “raised” by the selling of art to itself would allow the Tories to use the proceeds on other things that are not constrained by the Chipperfield Bequests terms and conditions.

Local MP, Alan Whitehead, with long experience in local government finance, has criticised the council’s actions,

“’Self dealing,’ which is the term for this sort of action is very questionable indeed when undertaken by Councils and needs the support of the Attorney General for it to be allowed. It seems very questionable indeed.”

The Charity Commission found that the decisions Tory-run Southampton City Council had taken over the sale of the paintings were,

“Not acceptable due to the conflicts of interest.”

Information provided by Councillor Richard Williams, Leader of the Labour Group, Southampton City Council.

No help for families in Southampton

April 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm | Posted in South East | Comments Off on No help for families in Southampton
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In Southampton, the Tory Council tried to axe three family centres but was forced to withdraw the plans.

But in a previous speech to Conservative Party Conference, David Cameron said

“Flexible working, family centres, relationship advice – all of these things matter.”

And at a monthly press conference, he again gave support to families centres saying:

“We want to help people with literacy, that is what we should be using things like family centres for.”

This shows the Tories saying one thing and doing another.

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