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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Special Council Meeting on Libraries and Cuts Affecting the Vulnerable

Today's meeting was a long one. I left to prepare for another meeting tomorrow night but the two main items discussed were on libraries and about cuts to the Council's Taxi-card service which allows many vulnerable residents cheaper taxi fare to get around.

In the libraries debate there was a discussion where the Labour councillor in charge of libraries appeared to say that four libraries were saved (in the short term) but maybe not in the future. There was a lot of talk about some being run not by paid staff but by residents doing it as a voluntary service. This sounds nice but very rarely does it ever work.

Next there was the item where the Council wanted to intitute a lot of cuts in the Taxi-card service. This would affect many disabled, elderly and vulnerable residents. The council are simply pushing up the cost that they pay which will mean many will not be able to go out as often. The item was added to the agenda as the Liberal Democrats "called in" the decision which means a committee would discuss it and make recommendations. Sadly the committee voted along party lines - so Labour rejected the proposals from myself and agreed to make the cuts. The amount of money the cuts would save is not that much and so when vulnerable people's life experiences are at stake sometimes you have to vote with your concience. Shame on Labour.

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