Protests and a strike as county council approves cuts

NMAC11-0433-2'Unison protest at County Hall, West Bridgford.
NMAC11-0433-2'Unison protest at County Hall, West Bridgford.

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE county councillors have approved their budget for the year after a heated debate at County Hall on Thursday.

The controversial financial plan will see cutbacks to services worth £87m this year and £154m over the next four years.

A total of 34 councillors voted in favour of the budget and 29 voted against.

Coun Kay Cutts, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “These are challenging economic times, but this budget tackles the reduction in Government grants that we receive whilst addressing an increase in demand in a number of services.

“We have to face these issues head on to balance the books and ensure that we are in good financial situation for the future.

“It also allows us to reinvest £42m of the savings into critical services that protect the most vulnerable, including an extra £15m on fostering and an additional £10.6m on care for older and disabled people.”

The debate on the budget proposals was accompanied by a one-day strike called by Unison and a protest outside County Hall.

Paul Frost from Mansfield’s Save Our Services campaign said: “We are pleased with the turnout and the noise we made outside County Hall will have left (Conservative leader) Coun Kay Cutts in no doubt about our feelings.”

During the meeting, Coun Joyce Bosnjak said the Conservative-led council was motivated by ideology and not financial necessity.

And Sutton councillor Steve Carroll said: “The budget has been called a transformative budget but it is a transformation for the worse for this county.”