Liberal Democrats have welcomed the partial change of heart by the Labour-controlled Cambridge City Council on some of its proposed cutbacks in next year’s budget - but are pointing out they still have not done enough. The retreat on some of their proposals comes only 48 hours after blocking discussion of these and other items which were highlighted by the Lib Dems at last Monday's council committee scheduled to scrutinise it.
Cllr Tim Bick, Lib Dem group leader said in response:
“These cutbacks were poorly considered and short-sighted. They did not correspond to the “new kind of redesigned council” Labour have been promising for us, which they’ve been spending millions on developing over many years with few results. They feel like panic in the absence of results from any kind of strategic change. Presumably Labour realised this and that’s why they resorted to the heavy-handed tactics to silence the opposition and any debate, which we saw this week.
“However there remain some equally hard-to-defend cutbacks that we have pointed to, that they still haven’t addressed. Though it’s good that Quayside public toilets will not now close, a range of others will, and that is still without any consideration of the way coin access is now an obstacle for many people, of the condition of alternative facilities that people would be redirected to or any assessment of the Equalities impact. It’s good they finally recognised that it was wrong to chop key worker bus services, while they don’t yet know what the GCP’s strategy will be after their major consultation. But they are persisting with reducing public realm enforcement staff at a time when, if anything, more are needed - and the Big Weekend looks set to disappear forever without debate over alternative models of provision.”