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LIB DEM COUNTY COUNCILLORS TO PRESENT ALTERNATIVE BUDGET - COUNTY

February 12, 2008 11:17 AM

Liberal Democrat County Councillors will be presenting their proposals for an alternative budget over the next two weeks. A Council tax increase of 4.8% will be proposed.

These proposals address the Council's continuing problems and focus on what the Lib Dems believe should be priority expenditures in the future.

These problems are manifest in the County's poor performance in Adult Social Care and in its inability to operate without raising council taxes by the maximum allowed by the government. In its budget the Lib Dems propose major capital expenditures to enable services to be reconfigured to raise their effectiveness and to escape the cycle of ever-increasing demands and limited resources.

And as they did last year the Lib Dems would again focus substantial funding on Climate Change related actions and on the Youth Service.

It is very unusual for a Shadow Cabinet to dedicate so much time and energy to draft an alternative budget. This shows the Lib Dem group's commitment to deliver major changes within the Council and its efforts to provide high quality public services to the County.

Lib Dem Group Leader David Jenkins commented:

"This Council is ignoring its fundamental problems and until it does so it will never deliver what Cambridgeshire residents need and deserve.

"The Lib Dems would address these problems by making available significant capital expenditure in the short term to enable substantial improvements in the way in which services are delivered."

Deputy Leader Peter Downes added:

"We are not the low tax party or the high tax party. We are the right tax party. Therefore, we propose a 4.8% Council Tax increase, in each of the two years.

"This decision reflects our concern that the Council Tax bears particularly heavily on people with lower incomes and our intention to get out of the straight jacket resulting from continual capping."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. The alternative budget will be presented on Tuesday 19 February 2008.

2. Lib Dem Spokespersons will be available for comments over the next few days.