Ilford recorder column june2010

The electorate may have voted to reject Labour from office but they did not vote for immediate savage cuts to vital front line services. When  Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling put forward a phased plan to halve the deficit over four years Lib Dem Vince Cable broadly agreed.  Conservative George Osborne said his cuts would come out of waste and efficiency savings and not hit front line services.  But now even though the deficit is £11 billion less than Alistair Darling predicted in his last budget,  the Conservative –Lib Dem Coalition are going ahead with a brutal policy of too much austerity too soon which  puts the fragile recovery at risk and hits our local services in Redbridge.  Chancellor Osborne announced  a £6.2bn cut this financial year, including  £1.165 billion in local government spending .   £670m  is cut  from  the Department for Education including £311m from grants to local councils for education and children’s services   equivalent to a 24 per cent cut  three months into a financial year across-the-board.    Redbridge  loses £1,316,628. some  £87,000  from the School Development Grant,  £12,000 from  the School Intervention Grant, £3000 from extended rights to free transport, £521,000 from the Connexions Service helping  young school-leavers to find apprenticeships or full-time work or career planning; £143,000 from the Childrens Fund which  supports activities for disabled and disadvantaged children.; £70,000 for  Care Matters  projects to help troubled and abandoned children in care and foster homes turn their lives around;  £70,000 for the Positive Activities for Young people fund  which helps pay for youth clubs, 5-a-side football pitches and other facilities to keep teenagers off the street;  £24,000 for local projects  to reduce rates of teenage pregnancy and abuse of drugs and alcohol; and £30,000 grants to fund local recruitment and training for social workers. I will fight hard and speak out against cuts to our local services. I hope that  the Conservative/Lib Dem leaders of Redbridge Council will do the same.

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