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Tories put forward budget plans
7:00am Wednesday 6th February 2013 in News
TORY opposition councillors have come up with an alternative plan to save the council money.
Thurrock Council’s Labour administration announced its plans in January – laying out proposals for how the authority will save £13million this year and £9million the next.
Cuts which include less funding for libraries, PCSOs and the Thameside Theatre are due to go before the full council for final approval.
Cllr Phil Anderson, leader of Thurrock Conservatives, pictured, said: “If you want to know the council’s real vision for Thurrock then you should look at its budget.
“Based on this test, Labour’s vision for the last two years has been nothing more than to cling on to power and avoid making any difficult decisions.
“They have made cuts here and there with no consistent approach and no deeper reform of council services. Now we’ve reached the point where there are no easy choices left to make, and the pipeline of longer term savings is empty.”
Mr Anderson said he wants financial decisions made on the “frontline”.
He added: “We believe this vision is more affordable, more efficient, and more flexible to respond to the needs of people and communities.
“Add to that an emphasis on value for money and eliminating waste that Conservatives have always been known for, and you stand a real chance of getting both quality services and a balanced budget.”
Council leader John Kent said he was pleased to see the Tory plans in time for the council’s scrutiny committee. And Mr Kent said he welcomed a debate on the budget plans.
He added: “I have made clear time after time that our budget plans have one single over-arching aim, to protect frontline services as far as is possible.
“There are undoubtedly some proposals from the opposition which I wholeheartedly welcome, there are others where every instinct on my side of the chamber cries out against them, and – of course – there are others where we could be open to persuasion.”