Lib Dems question £8m ‘panic’ cuts

Coun Steve Brady, leader of Hull Council
Coun Steve Brady, leader of Hull Council
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LIBERAL democrats have called in £8m of “panic” cuts by Labour-run Hull Council accusing them of attempting to impose “potentially illegal” savings on the public.

The proposals, which could see the loss of another 100 jobs on top of the hundreds already announced, include slashing the five customer service centres to just one, the Wilson Centre, in the city centre.

There could be reductions to spending on public toilets, community centres and on grants for arts and cultural organisations after Labour bought forward future rounds of savings. In total the council has to save £30m by 2020.

Lib Dem councillor Dave McCobb said when the proposals went before scrutiny councillors there was no supporting paperwork giving details of the cuts, and no Labour Cabinet members or senior managers there to answer even basic questions.

The ‘call-in’ process means that the decision cannot be implemented while scrutiny councillors review the decision at a future meeting.

He said: “We don’t know how in all good conscience the Cabinet could approve these savings when they can’t possibly know what the impact will be, and the required impact assessments were not made available. In some cases these cuts might not even be possible.”

However council leader Steve Brady said the Lib Dems’ move would not stand in the way of making savings. He said: “As far as we are concerned we will make the decisions and we will go out to consultation. Scrutiny has its right and proper place but it will not stop progress to make these savings. We won’t be having filibustering by the Liberal Democrats.”