Anger as Lib Dem plan to stop Tory neglect is blocked

Conservative Councillors have voted down Lib Dem proposals which would have helped protect care services for both elderly people and children, as well as investing more in tackling potholes and improving local roads.

The Lib Dem opposition tabled plans at East Sussex County Council to reduce the most damaging Conservative cuts, putting millions back into Adult Social Care and Children’s Services. It would also have meant more money to tackle poorly maintained roads and potholes. Finally it would have made sure both towns and villages got a fair deal in funding from the county council.

The Amendment (the details of which are below) fell by 25 votes to 16.  

Lib Dem Opposition leader Councillor David Tutt acknowledged the relentless assault on councils as a result of continued cuts in grant from the Tory Government but argued that local Conservative proposals should not be supported.  He said: “The proposed cuts hit the most vulnerable in our community, those who cannot fight for themselves, these are the people who the Liberal Democrats are standing up for”.
The Liberal Democrat Shadow Finance Portfolio holder, Councillor Michael Blanch said “The proposed cuts are not only unacceptable but also unnecessary as there are other ways of finding approximately £4m, without hitting frontline services, to ensure that these vital services can be maintained."
Lib Dem County Councillor for Ringmer and Lewes Bridge, Rosalyn St Pierre, said: "We are fighting the Tories' neglect of our communities.  It is only by having more Liberal Democrats at County Hall that we can take control away from the Conservatives and ensure that our most vulnerable and our children are well cared for and well educated."
Kelly-Marie Blundell, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Lewes added: "I am so proud of my Liberal Democrat County Council colleagues for their hard work in putting these proposals together. It is to the lasting shame of the Conservative councillors that they voted down the Lib Dem plans to protect our services".
Liberal Democrat proposals that the Conservatives refused to accept include the following:

Adult Social Care
Reinstate funding for: Older People Community Care; Older People Adults and Learning Disability directly provided services; Working Age Adult Care; Tackling Substance Misuse and a contribution to reduce the risk posed by potential over reliance on the Better Together Programme which is hoping that the Health Care Budget will backfill Council cuts to the tune of £7m. 

Children’s Services
More funding for Locality Social Work: Early Years provision and reinstatement of money for the SPARK organisation which has done some fantastic work connecting voluntary and community groups for young people.  The amendment also proposes to restore to the base the money being cut from Special Educational Needs which had been pushed back until after the County Council elections.
Fighting for our rural communities, funding safer roads and tackling potholes
Liberal Democrats are also proposing money for Village Maintenance Support to help rural areas and additional highways maintenance
Future plans
Lib Dems proposed the establishment of a new Property Investment Fund aimed at producing a surplus to support future revenue budgets.

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