The Independent exposes the real cost of Tory Councils

May 5, 2010 at 8:54 am | Posted in London | Comments Off on The Independent exposes the real cost of Tory Councils
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Great article in The Independent today exposing the real cost of Tory councils.  The actions of Tories in Hammersmith & Fulham has been well-documented but Johann Hari gives a brilliant account of the human cost of ‘progressive Conservatism’.

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

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.

Calderdale Tories putting the vulnerable at risk

April 23, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Posted in Yorkshire and the Humber | Comments Off on Calderdale Tories putting the vulnerable at risk
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David Cameron says that,

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

But Tory-run Calderdale is putting the most vulnerable at risk by splitting responsibility for all home care in the district between six private companies and the council.  This is to save £200,000 from the council budget.

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

CAB funding slashed by a third in Rossendale

April 23, 2010 at 10:27 am | Posted in North West | Comments Off on CAB funding slashed by a third in Rossendale
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David Cameron says he wants to,

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

Tory-run Rossendale proposed to cut funding for the local Citizens Advice Bureau by a third but are delaying their final decision until after the election.

This is at a time when the most vulnerable need the CAB the most – last year more than 1,500 clients were helped by the CAB and it is predicted that more than 2,000 clients will be helped in 2010.

This is an example of Tories  saying one thing and doing another.

Cuts in Wolverhampton target the elderly and the vulnerable

April 22, 2010 at 7:48 am | Posted in Midlands | Comments Off on Cuts in Wolverhampton target the elderly and the vulnerable
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The Tory/Lib Dem leadership of Wolverhampton Council has passed a budget taking a decision to go for full cost recovery for all but the most basic of public services.  This is hitting families and vulnerable people with charges they can’t afford for services they need.

In September 2009, Wolverhampton Council proposed a new round of £7.6 million spending cuts on top of the £14.3 million they had already proposed in February 2009.

The cuts and hike in charges include:

• Hot meal charges for the elderly to be raised by a whopping 83% in total

• Cremation fees will rise 6%, internment fees by 5% and grave lease fees by 50%.

• Cuts of £300K in the Youth Service and £46k in community play.

• Closure of the Visitor Information Centre in Queens Square.

• Cuts of £200K in grants to Voluntary Sector Neighbourhood and Community Safety.

• Reduction in opening hours of Anchor Lane and Shaw Road Civic Amenity sites.

• Merry Hill and Langley Court Day Centres for the elderly to be closed.

• Blakenhall Resource Centre, a respite centre for older people with mental health needs, to be privatised.

Information provided by Councillor Roger Lawrence, Leader of the Labour Group, Wolverhampton Council

Cuts in Coventry hit the most vulnerable

April 22, 2010 at 7:44 am | Posted in Midlands | Comments Off on Cuts in Coventry hit the most vulnerable
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Tory-run Coventry City Council has consistently hit the most vulnerable with cuts and hefty increases in charges.

In the budgets for 2007/08 and 2008/9, charges for meals on wheels increased by 60% and over half a million pounds was withdrawn from the councils budget to promote independence for older people.

They also tried to close workshops for people with learning difficulties and reduced the budget for children leaving care by £150,000 whilst stopping before and after  school clubs.

The Tories are hitting the most vulnerable with charges they can’t afford for services they need.

Saying one thing, doing another in Walsall

April 21, 2010 at 2:30 pm | Posted in Midlands | Comments Off on Saying one thing, doing another in Walsall
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On the Conservative’s website they say,

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

But Tory-run Walsall council has voted to cut more than £5million from adult social services funding.  They have so far not let on where the cuts will fall.

Shadow Minister for Women, Theresa May, says she,

“Welcomes any measures to make it easier for (women) to get on with their lives free from abuse.”

David Cameron says he wants to,

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

But Walsall Tories have slashed funding by £77k for a domestic violence unit that has reduced violent incidents by 12% in 2009.

The Conservatives say that they are,

“Committed to fostering an environment in which sport can flourish.”

But the  Walsall Tory budget for 2010-11 which is likely to force Willenhall Leisure Centre to close.

Walsall Tories are also cutting the opening hours to public toilets in the borough  resulting in shorter opening hours.

Tories are saying one thing nationally and another locally.

Information provided by Councillor Tim Oliver, Leader of the Labour Group, Walsall Council.

Slashing services in Harlow

March 24, 2010 at 9:41 am | Posted in South East | Comments Off on Slashing services in Harlow
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David Cameron says that he will,

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

But Tory-run Harlow is slashing voluntary sector funding in their budget for 2010-11.

They are:

  • Cutting grants to voluntary sector organisations by 23%.  This comes on top of a 13% cut in the 2009-10 budget.  The  Tories confirm that this will mean there is,

“Likely to be a reduction in services available.”

  • Cutting all funding to Harlow’s Active Retired Scheme which provides activities for Harlow’s over 50’s.  The scheme has 500 members.
  • Stopping discretionary rate tax relief for charitable organisations

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 Harlow Tories are going to charge residents who want to recycle their green waste £75 per year.

These cuts come on top of the cuts and hikes in charges that the Tories in Harlow implremented in 2009-10.

These cuts included:

  • 82% slashed from Harlow Advice Centre
  • £161,000 cut to organisations such as Rainbow Services, which provides facilities for voluntary sector organisations and Women’s Aid
  • 8 sheltered housing schemes decommissioned
  • £40,000 slashed from Harlow Museum
  • £24,000 slashed from Harlow Youth Council and youth work

The Tories say nationally they will protect frontline services but locally, like in Tory Harlow, they cut valued local services.

Information provided by Bill Rammall, MP for Harlow, Nazeing, Roydon and Sheering

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