Monday, 11 March 2013

Avril Davies responds to Conservative ruling group annual budget

As deputy group leader of the Bucks county Council Liberal Democrats Ivinghoe Division councillor Avril Davies was given a few hours notice that she would have to respond to the Conservative ruling group annual budget recently (14th February).

The Lib Dem group had discussed the budget and two members including our group leader had taken part in three days of examination of the budget in public by a scrutiny panel.

Times have never been harder for Local Government, faced with disproportionate cuts to its funding from central government.

As a group our priority lies with people. Our  main criticisms of the budget in acknowledged difficult times are that the £180M cost of the Calvert energy from waste plant, mostly funded by borrowing, should be invested instead in the Bucks depreciating road network  to support employment, business and the economy.
There are waste plants strategically placed around Bucks borders which have the capacity to take the Bucks steadily reducing waste stream, and cut down on the miles the waste would need to be transported by road, and it would be a cheaper option.

Choosing a Rolls Royce  model of waste disposal takes more than its fair share of resources, resulting in care services to the elderly and learning disabled unacceptably exposed to risk. Although our alternatives could not release a great deal of funding  to support inproving the quality of these services, this is where our priorities lie.