Somerset County Council faces new challenges
The emergency cuts to planned expenditure agreed by Somerset County Council’s cabinet on 12th September have come under fire from opposition councillors. Whilst it is unsurprising that many object to the cuts, the problem is that no-one has a better idea as to what to do right now. Opposition councillors may point to the fact that if things had been done differently, we would not be where we are, and arguably that is correct, however that does not change the fact that we are where we are.
To avoid insolvency, all SCC can do is choose which services to cut or hope that central government will somehow be persuaded to part with some emergency funding. The recent example of Northamptonshire is not encouraging.
So we are down to arguing not over whether to make cuts or not, but which items to cut.
Already SCC has agreed to hold an extraordinary County Council meeting on 17th October to discuss the cuts to staff and services requested by opposition councillors. Anyone wishing to speak at that meeting will need to have their question submitted by Friday 12th October.
Now the Leader of the Labour Group at SCC, Cllr Leigh Redman has submitted a ‘Scrutiny call in’ to challenge the decision to cut 70-80 staff from Somerset County Councils Getset service. Cllr Redman states that this decision “if implemented will have a negative impact on some of the most vulnerable children and families in our communities…”
The call in will be heard at a special Scrutiny meeting at10am on the 8th October at Shire Hall, Taunton and will give people the chance to have their say on this particular aspect of the cuts. Any questions or statements from anyone wishing to debate the plans, need to be in by 1700hrs on Tuesday 2nd October and can be submitted using the form at: https://secure1.somerset.gov.uk/forms/PortalShowForm.asp?fm_formalias=aaq