Report sparks cuts row

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LABOUr have waded into a row with Mayor Peter Davies after Doncaster Chamber of Commerce raised concerns over spending cuts.

A report by the Chamber warned more than half of Doncaster’s businesses are “deeply concerned” about the impact the cuts will have on the borough.

It has led to Doncaster Labour Group’s deputy leader Glyn Jones accusing Mr Davies of “doing the government’s dirty work for them”.

But Mr Davies said Coun Jones’s group had backed his plans when it came to voting in council.

Coun Jones said: “Now, more than ever, the mayor needs to make sure the interests of the people of this borough are protected. Yet he has not brought forward any innovations or plans of his own which will assist the borough’s businesses, many of which are struggling, and some of which are in danger of closing altogether, which will add to the jobless total on top of the 700 council staff redundancies he is planning.

“Instead, he has piggy-backed on the success of schemes created when Doncaster had a Labour mayor.”

Mr Davies said Labour had been involved in deciding where the cuts were made and agreed every one of them in the council chamber.

He said: “I have no alternative but to make cuts. We’ve been instructed to find £80 million in cuts and Labour would have had to have done the same.

“They are clutching at straws as they have made no contribution to policy over the last two years.

“As for their lauding the previous mayor, Martin Winter, Labour did not support him when he was mayor and threw him out of the party.”

He added that Labour were in charge when the economy hit problems.

Doncaster’s Chamber of Commerce has a membership of 1,200 businesses employing 47,000 workers.

Its report - a review of the economy in April, May and June - also highlights concerns of one in four traders who believe their prices will rise over the coming months.

Doncaster Council shed around 800 jobs this year and more positions are expected to go next year as the authority continues to try to find savings. Unison members at the authority went on strike over cuts in June.