Joint statement from: Ruth Smeeth MP, Gareth Snell MP and Labour Group leader Councillor Mohammed Pervez.
A pay more, get less budget from an exhausted out of touch administration
“Today, any veneer of confidence in the Independent—Tory administration to competently run council services has been shattered. Unfortunately for the residents of Stoke-on-Trent, they are now going to pay for the mistakes of a tired Council leadership which is out of its depth.
The Council has today published its budget proposals, with a foreword from the leader and deputy- leader of the council that states their ‘Strategy is working”. A statement so detached from the reality of the situation, begs the question are they really in touch with the crisis that they are facing or the impact their proposals will have on local residents.
A strategy that will result in a 4% budget busting council tax rise and hit the pockets of residents in Stoke-on-Trent at a time when many have their own wages frozen or cut; that increases parking charges and adds to the list of services the Council is costing out local residents from using such as pest control.
A strategy that when Adult and Social Care services have never been in greater demand, cuts £2.4million from its budget through a system redesign, which will undoubtedly see the quality of services for our most vulnerable worsen.
A strategy, hot on the heels of their plans to fine rough-sleepers £1000, reduce the support on offer for children in care and intention to steal £3million from the classrooms of our local schools to prop up their budget mistakes.
Tragically, for those residents that rely and depend on the services the Council delivers the news today is confirmation not only don’t they have a plan to address these problems, but that they aren’t fully aware of the crisis they are facing or making worse. A crisis made worse by a government committed to defunding local government resulting in today’s announcement by the council and their intention to pick the pockets of local residents.
Over the next couple of days we will work with stakeholders to properly assess some of the worst elements of this budget and do all we can to oppose plans that will have such a detrimental effect on the lives of the residents of Stoke-on-Trent”.