Lancashire County Council have now published on their web site some of the proposed cuts to public services which will be considered by Full Council on 14th February. The controversial public consultation has already started to unravel as a paper exercise without meaning or ability to change any of the Conservatives proposed cuts.
The areas being consulted on are Lancashire County Council’s household waste recycling centres consultation, Lancashire Wellbeing Service and Lancashire Break Time.
Consultation began on 28 January to 25 March 2019, with a report being provided for the Cabinet Meeting on 16th May 2019. This will be 3 months after the decision has been taken to cut these services.
The Conservative Administration has only put out one press release to support the consultation, which will see a £77 Million in local people’s services. There is no reference to the public consultation on the council’s home page and the address has been elongated to make it difficult to access quickly without a direct copy of the address.
Cllr John Fillis, Lancashire Labour Deputy Leader, said” The Conservative Administration is doing everything it can to stiffly the reposes from the public. Even the questions in the consultation are constructed to support the cuts without people having the option to say NO. This whole consultation is a sham and they are doing everything they can to stop people from having their say.”
“The council was able to send out straight forward budget papers covering all the cuts in Appendixes C & D to MP’s, councils and other statutory bodies in January to enable them to be returned before the budget meeting. Yet when it comes to the people of Lancashire they have had to create a series of barriers and confusion to prevent local people being given the opportunity to have their voices heard.”
“This gerrymandering by the Conservative Administration is an insult to the people of Lancashire. Unfortunately this is typical, they closed down the Cabinet Meetings, reduced Councillors ability to raise concerns at full council and they are now turning public consultation into an afterthought.”
“At the Cabinet Meeting last week, the Conservatives were forced to make 3 U Turns on switching off street lighting and departure charges for buses due to the public outcry. They have created even greater confusion around on street parking charges, without any clear criteria for their “Town Tax”.”
“What we need is open and honest Government, the council should be engaging with the public bringing them into the decision making not locking them out this Conservative Administration is a disgrace to democracy.”