Response to the Scorched Newcastle Budget
The general secretary of Newcastle’s only independent political party has today published its response to the consultation on the Newcastle City Council budget proposals.
Ernie Shorton expressed concern on behalf of the Newcastle upon Tyne Community First Party about many of the proposals contained in the budget, including the closure or privatisation of swimming pools, leisure centres and libraries. Councillors were urged to rethink the closure of the Castle Dene and Cheviot View respite centres.
Ernie said: “We do not support many of the choices outlined in the budget and we are concerned about the political rhetoric and exaggeration of the scale of challenge the council faces.
“Successive Labour and Lib Dem administrations have made questionable decisions that have led us to where we are now, mortgaging the city to pay for their pet projects. We understand that the interest on this mountain of debt is £40million and this is set to increase with Labour’s budget.
“Nevertheless, we believe the Conservative and Lib Dem Government has short-
“Labour got us into the mess we are in and the Conservatives and Lib Dems are giving a tax cut to the mega rich, mainly in the South, while Newcastle will see its services stripped to the bone.
“We are challenging the Government to give Newcastle a better deal.”
Ernie Shorton has also written to the Prime Minister to challenge the budget settlement for Newcastle. Ernie added: “The scale of cuts, together with the method of allocating to individual councils and Labour councillors’ choices, will result in the loss of services that local people rely on.
“We stand shoulder to shoulder with Labour and Lib Dems locally in challenging your unfair budget settlement for Newcastle. We urge the Prime Minister to look again at how the cuts are shared between local authorities.”
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