The Labour Group on Essex County Council is angry that the Conservative administration is failing to address the big issues affecting residents within the county and tabled budget amendments for the meeting of the council on Tuesday 14th February.
Labour is aware that the Conservative government’s bungling of its policy to merge Adult Social Care with the NHS has resulted in the current crisis but cannot accept that the Essex Tories are burying their heads in the sand rather than taking action to address the issue.
Labour is angry that the Conservatives are misleading the public by suggesting they are freezing Council Tax when they are, in fact, increasing it by 3% by imposing the permitted levy to fund Adult Social Care. The Labour Group believes that the 3% increase will not solve the problems and will be proposing that the council tax is raised by 1.99% in addition to the 3% levy to allow the council to make a real difference on the issues that affect people’s lives.
Labour amendments targeted to address the current crisis were:
- An additional £3,000,000 to reverse part of the All Age Increasing Independence savings planned for Adult Social Care and to restore and protect services to Vulnerable Adults, subject to increasing the budget for Adult Social Care portfolio by £3,000,000.
- An additional £3,000,000 to reverse part of the Health Investment in Prevention savings planned for Adult Social Care and to restore and protect services to Vulnerable Adults, subject to increasing the budget for Adult Social Care portfolio by £3,000,000
- An additional £1,413,549 to reverse part of the Older People Intermediate Care Pathway saving and to restore and protect service to Vulnerable Adults, subject to increasing the budget for Adult Social Care portfolio by £1,413,549
- An additional £934,000 to reinstate the funding for community equipment and reverse the Community Equipment Retail Pathway saving, subject to increasing the budget for Adult Social Care portfolio by £934,000
Deputy leader of the Labour Group, Cllr. Mike Danvers, says
"The crisis in Adult Social Care is crippling the NHS and so affects every resident in Essex. It is wrong that the Tory government has shunted the responsibility for dealing with this to Essex County Council but it is equally wrong that the Tories running the council are burying their heads in the sand instead of taking action."
The Labour budget amendments also included an amendment to end Part Night Street Lighting and reads:
- An additional £1,474,000 to switch street lighting on across ECC from 1am to 5am, subject to increasing the budget for Highways & Transportation portfolio by £1,474,000.
- Another key amendment will be to fund a complete review of the council’s policy on potholes to enable the farcical and dangerous situation that presently exists to be replaced by a policy that is fit for purpose and meets the needs of those using the roads and pavements within Essex. This amendment reads:
- An additional £20,000 to have a complete review of the funding formula and the intervention level of highway maintenance to readdress the pothole and foot path crisis in Essex. Subject to increasing the budget for Highways and Transportation portfolio, funded by a necessary adjustment to the earmarked revenue Innovation Fund reserve being recommended to the Council.
Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr. Ivan Henderson, says
“We have a Conservative government that is creating the problems in Essex and a Conservative administration at County Hall that has no idea how to deal with the issues. We need strong and decisive leadership and, as the Conservatives are clearly incapable of providing this, the Labour Group will table the necessary amendments to do the job for them.”