A leading Labour councillor says Lincolnshire can’t afford five more years of David Cameron’s Tories with £90million county council budget cuts planned every single year until 2019.
Coun Phil Dilks, from Deeping St James, says the Tories have already decimated youth services and are poised to destroy libraries.
He asks: “Who knows where the Tory axe will fall next in Lincolnshire?”
Council Tory leader Martin Hill says services must be cut back – or lost completely – and wants the public to help decide what should happen.
He said: “We have already started to reduce our operating costs wherever possible, but we can’t find this £90million per year through efficiency savings alone.
“We need to decide which services are essential and which, while desirable, could be reduced, delivered in a different way, or even stopped.
“Public security is a particular priority for us, so we’re proposing to protect funding in areas like safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, gritting roads and highways maintenance.
“That means savings would need to be found within the other services we provide.
“But we want to know what residents think, and the best way to find that out is to ask them.”
Coun Dilks said: “When we have a national government whose priority is handing massive tax breaks to millionaires, it is hard pressed families in places like Lincolnshire who are forced to pay through draconian cuts to vital services.”
He says prices have risen faster than wages over the last four years, which means average wages are worth £1,600 less than they were in 2010.
“On top of this, the average families energy bill has been allowed to rocket by £300 a year,” he said.
“This hits Lincolnshire families harder than most as we have one of the lowest skilled, lowest paid workforces in the county – a good reason to invest in libraries to encourage life-long learning.”
Coun Dilks said the county’s Tory administration met a couple of weeks ago to decide how to spend £43million they collected last year but didn’t spend on services.
He said: “These are the very same people who complained under Labour about ‘Lincolnshire’s missing millions’ – despite receiving more money in every one of the 13 years thanks to the previous Labour government.
“The stark warning now from Lincolnshire Tories themselves that the Tory government is planning much bigger cuts next year shows that Lincolnshire can’t afford another five years of Cameron’s Tories.”
l Suggestions can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Lincolnshire County Council, Resources and Community Safety, FREEPOST RSTY-UXJB-ARHK, Newland, Lincoln LN1 1YG.