by southgloslibdems on 25 January, 2016
Residents reacted in shock as South Gloucestershire Council snuck out their budget plans at 4pm on a Friday afternoon, as the sun set, and most people went home for the weekend.
Cllr Ruth Davis (Liberal Democrat leader) said: “I’m amazed. They couldn’t have timed this to go more under the radar if they were trying.
“We finally know what their plans are for the next four years. More cuts to the libraries. More cuts to the council tax support scheme. More cuts to transport services. They’ve cut the decisions made by Area Committees – where local Councillors who knew the communities made decisions. And they’re going to restructure the council so they can’t be held to account.”
Four years ago, South Gloucestershire changed to a more democratic ‘committee system’, which makes decisions in public, and forces Councillors to explain themselves to residents. The Tories tried to block it then, and are now pushing through changes. Merging the committees together will mean more decisions taken in secret, and fewer chances for the people to have their say.
Cllr Davis added: “It’s an attack on democracy. We always knew the Tories didn’t like facing the residents. Now this means anyone who wants to have a say will have fewer chances, and have to sit through longer meetings to do it. It’s a farce. We don’t need reorganisations and restructures, we need to hold the ruling Tories to account as they slash services and support for local people. The Tories in London have cut our funding further than we ever expected, and the Tories in South Gloucestershire are making the residents pay for it.”2 Comments