Council expects ‘devastating’ cuts

NMAC10-2465-2''Kirkby Ashfield District Council Offices
NMAC10-2465-2''Kirkby Ashfield District Council Offices

A Hucknall councillor has warned that front-line services in Ashfield are at risk, whichever party wins the General Election.

At the council’s March full meeting, Coun Dave Shaw said: “Who knows what will happen in this May’s Parliamentary election?

“But we can be sure that the current policy of cuts by Central Government will continue and directly affect the people of Ashfield.

“It will not matter which political party takes up office, the overall consensus will be no change in government policy for this deprived area.”

Coun Shaw is one of four members of the council who have resigned from the Labour Party and are planning to stand as Independents in the Ashfield elections. The others are Couns John Wilmott and Trevor Locke, of Hucknall, and Coun Warren Nuttall, of Kirkby.

In his speech, Coun Shaw claimed: “Unless there is a fundamental policy review by Central Government, funding cuts will affect front-line services of this authority. That will be devastating. I predict that there will be extensive job cuts to front-line services within this administration. This is reflected in the forecast of a need to reduce the budget by around £700,000 per annum over the next four years.

“Ashfield’s recent council-tax setting budget was very much like a Trojan horse, the enemy being within. I am afraid to say it was a budget set for the election and not for the future.”

Council leader Coun Chris Baron said the authority could feel very proud of a wide range of achievements across the district during the past year, despite the Central Government cuts.

He added that he was ‘quite sure’ the forthcoming elections would result in a further Labour administration for Ashfield.