Cuts will harm economy, claim

Paul Coddington
Paul Coddington
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DONCASTER Council’s Liberal Democrats leader Paul Coddington has put his name to a letter warning deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg that cuts could damage the economy.

Coun Coddington is one of 88 local Lib Dem leaders who have put their name to the letter which warns of potential damage to the economy and hits the most vulnerable.

They accused Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles of “letting down” users of council services and refusing to work with councillors.

Coun Coddington, who represents Bessacarr ward, said: “Doncaster is not a well off town.

“Commissioners were brought in to try to improve Doncaster, while at the same time having to make severe cuts. It doesn’t make sense in my opinion.”

The letter Coun Coddington has signed was published in The Times.

It stated: “These cuts will have an undoubted impact on all frontline council services, including care services to the vulnerable.

“Rather than assist the country’s recovery by making savings to the public in a way that can protect local economies and the frontline, the cuts are structured in such a way that they will do the opposite.”

The letter claims local government was playing its part in tackling the country’s deficit and advancing the coalition’s aim of the Big Society, stating: “Local government has made efficiency savings of three per cent in each of the past eight years – in stark contrast to the runaway spending of central government under the previous administration.”

Lib Dem Communities Minister Andrew Stunell called on the party not to fall out over “pointless debate” and said the “woeful” deficit inherited from Labour meant “very tough times” for all public services.

“Whilst I fully understand the real challenges councils face I think it will be much better to direct all our energy to solving these problems rather than falling out between ourselves,” he said.