Council under fire over �5m reserves
SUFFOLK County Council was yesterday accused of squirreling away taxpayers' money following a decision to move an extra �5m into reserves.Opposition councillors criticised the move by the authority's cabinet following an under spend in the 2008/09 budget.
SUFFOLK County Council was yesterday accused of squirreling away taxpayers' money following a decision to move an extra �5m into reserves.
Opposition councillors criticised the move by the authority's cabinet following an under spend in the 2008/09 budget.
Labour members said the �5m could have been spent on more worthwhile projects, such as adult care services, roads maintenance, buses, and waste disposal. They said that the addition to Suffolk County Council's �74m reserves was not necessary.
Sandy Martin, Labour spokesman for the environment, said: 'At a time of recession it makes no sense for the county council to make cuts to services. The money is there, and so many things desperately need doing - but the Tories would rather just squirrel it away in reserves.'
But Jane Storey, Conservative portfolio holder for resources, yesterday said that the opposition's criticism was 'completely misguided' and the council's reserves would be invested in the community.
'Nationally, they [Labour] are bankrupting the country - again. And in Suffolk they put up Council Tax by 18.5pc when they last ran the county council - doubling council tax in 10 years. That's the sort of financial management we can do without.
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'This Conservative administration saw there were difficult times ahead, and so fixed the roof while the sun was shining - saving �60m in three years - on track to save a further �12.5m this year - turning Suffolk into the most cost-efficient county council in England.
'The public rightly expect us to deliver ever-more efficient, value for money services, and this under spend is another demonstration of this in action,' she said.