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Calderdale Budget/ Cuts to the Voluntary Sector

Posted by Jonathan Timbers, Sunday, March 18, 2001

Though the Tories who now control Calderdale backed off from some of the worst proposed cuts, they have still put groups in the voluntary sector which provide support and advice to the most vulnerable in a very difficult position. These include those providing help to the disabled. They have also agreed to replace meals on wheels with a system which involves providing elder citizens with a microwave. In this, they were ably supported by the Liberal Democrats, who produced a very political and, to my mind, dishonest alternative budget. Every facility in a Lib/ Dem ward was 'saved', but they provided no money for developing or underpinning growth, and nothing extra for developing consultation with us, the electorate. (Though it does look like Youth House and the library will be sold off now with Lib/ Dem support, despite their initial opposition. How power changes them!)

Having studied the various budget proposals from the party groupings, it did indicate to me that there are real political choices on the council, despite the erosion of the power and independence of local authorities. It also confirmed what I felt about the groupings:

Tories = penny-pinching and they don't care

Libs = more caring, but awful political opportunists

Labour = the best we get, but could do better on the publicity front locally.

It is very depressing that the Tories are in power locally, just as more money is becoming available from central government for expanding services.

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