Friday, 18 June 2010

Grant Cuts

Cllr Richard NicholsonShadow Member for Finance & Corporate Services - TDCCllr R Nicholson said “The first in what will be a long line of cuts and reductions in services have been released in the latest Cabinet papers. Figures produced by TDC show Thanet initially suffering a 1.7% cut in grants which will effect front line services with both WNF (Working Neighbourhood Fund) and Crime and Justice being cut severely both this year and next. The figures show how Thanet is the worst effected in East Kent and at nearly twice the average for England. The glum faces of the Tories were not eased any when the Chief Executive confirmed that Thanet is being disproportionably effected and in the current year the cuts amount to over £500K.The mood was made worse when I pointed out it had been also announced the free swimming for the over 60s and under 16s is scrapped from July. How this shows support for getting residents physically active beggars belief.

In the case of WNF (Working Neighbourhood Fund) this includes a £120K cut to the apprenticeship programme, so much for the rhetoric in parliament about increasing apprenticeships!

In the Crime and Justice part of these cuts, salaries will probably be effected, we will have wait so see who’s but probably front line staff.
Other cuts which will impact Thanet are Central Government grants to KCC and the direct effects are not known at present but undoubtedly will hurt Thanet. Included in these are LABGI which is totally scrapped, despite being specifically targeted for business growth, and other area based grants.

There other grant cuts forecast, no doubt these are being signposted early to local authorities. The include Sea Change and the Arts Council both which may have major ramifications for Thanet.

I have no doubt that possibly next week but certainly by the Autumn when the spending review is completed we will find Thanet hit hard and I and my colleagues will strive to support the many in Thanet who need help by fighting for essential services to be maintained. One thing for sure is judging by the first steps is the pain will fall on the most vulnerable and needy in society.
Finally the report highlights the Home Office have suspended the work of it’s anti social behaviour unit due to “ministerial priorities”. Well ASB is a priority for Thanet residents and were we not told there was to be the end of decisions like this being taken by central government, again a case of the rhetoric not matching the actions.

Cllr R Nicholson Thanet 580057

Published by Thanet Labour Group Press Office - 44 Northdown Road, Margate, CT9 2RW.

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