Council’s £33,000 in translation fees show ‘priorities are wrong’

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An election candidate opposing cuts to crossing wardens in Derbyshire has hit out at the county council’s £33,000 spend on translating documents into foreign languages.

The council is now consulting on plans to remove wardens from 36 sites with crossings, not recruit any for 19 schools with a vacant post and remove lunch time cover for another seven schools.

Lee Rowley, who is standing as the Conservative hopeful in North East Derbyshire, has found the council spent £22,026 on translation services in 2013-14, and £12,785 so far in 2014-15.

He said: “Here is yet another example of where County Hall could find savings before cutting lollipop ladies.

“The council should not be spending thousands of pounds in the last couple of years on translating documents into other languages.

“It just shows that they have the wrong priorities and are playing politics on cutting services.”

Coun Paul Smith, deputy leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: “I find it absolutely astounding Lee Rowley can level this criticism at Derbyshire when it is his own Conservative Government causing the pain for local residents by inflicting a massive 27 per cent funding cut.

“In Derbyshire every resident faces a £97 cut in funding next year. It’s not in proportion with the south of the country. How’s that fair?

“We don’t want to cut any school crossing patrols.

“Previously, it looked like we were going to lose them all, but we’ve worked hard to find funding so that we keep the service at 93 sites. If Lee really is concerned about cuts, he needs to talk to his own party about providing fair funding for Derbyshire.”