Cuts, cuts and more cuts to Essex's public services

12 Feb 2016

Proposals for extra support for young people, and to undertake more road and pavement repairs were tabled at Essex County Council, by the Liberal Democrats in the budget debate this week. However, these were rejected by the Conservatives, who approved a budget containing £75 million of cuts, which will hit vulnerable youngsters and older people.

Liberal Democrat proposals would have:

  • Invested an extra £0.5 million in youth mental health services for preventative measures and reducing the time young people need to wait for help
  • Invested extra funding for young people by creating a £0.5 million fund for local youth group projects, which would help improve young people's skills and divert them from anti-social behaviour
  • Doubled funding for local highways projects, including local safety schemes, and giving Local Highways Panels more control over their budget;
  • Created a £2m fund for larger highways schemes (such as significant junction improvements and pedestrian crossings) delivered by Local Highways Panels.

However, despite winning support from other opposition parties, the changes were voted down by the Conservative majority.

The Conservative budget increases council tax by 4% and imposes large cuts including:

  • Adult Social Care - £44m;
  • Local highways projects - £4m;
  • Local bus services - £1.5m;
  • Children's mental health - £600,000.

The Conservative government and their colleagues on Essex County Council and Epping Forest District Council are now delivering their big cuts to public services, no longer held back by the Liberal Democrats in the coalition government.