Saturday, 8 July 2017

Cuts to services likely in Hampshire

Hampshire County Council has announced a consultation on its budget. The County Council says it will face a budget shortfall of £140 million by April 2019, on top of the £340 million savings already delivered over the last nine years. They say this is due to ongoing national austerity measures; demographic changes reflecting increases in demand for some services; and inflationary pressures.

The consultation is asking for views on a range of options for balancing its budget. These include: Reducing and changing services; Introducing and increasing charges for some services; Lobbying central Government for legislative change; Generating additional income; Using the County Council’s reserves; Increasing Council Tax; and Changing local government arrangements in Hampshire.

Councillor Mark Staplehurst comments that during the 4 years he spent as a County Councillor he warned residents that there would be more and more cuts to services, hikes in Council tax and many more services incurring ever increased charges. He now fears that these warnings are being proved correct. The Tory Councils, in Rushmoor and in Winchester, bribed the residents with 5 years of Council Tax freezes, which has had the effect of virtually crippling the public services. Now there are massively cut front line services in all areas. In particular the Policing of our area is affected. The roads are a disgrace, with ever increasing numbers of pot holes and repairs needed. There are also cuts to Adults services and children’s services. The disabled are told they have to forego their Blue badges rendering them housebound and there are no funding streams for SEN children, so families are forced to do what they can for their children, often having to give up work and living on the breadline. Care homes are a disgrace with Vivid (First Wessex) constantly reducing the services, and now potentially charging residents who have mobility scooters to charge them up!

Mark questions what the Tory County Councillors are doing in response, but says that they nowhere to be seen. The Conservative Council are only following the guidelines from the morally bankrupt national party who deem it more important to build more and more flats creating more and more congestion and creating a burden on existing struggling services in the NHS, Schools and Surgeries.

As this is going to consultation, Mark asks that people stop acting like sheep and respond to it on how they really feel. He fears that if the Tory County Council get their way we will get increases in council Tax, increases in Charges for existing free services, further reduction in Police numbers, and even more reduction in front line and essential services (Adult and Children’s services).

You can respond to the consultation online here.

Ken McNair

No comments:

Post a Comment