Somerset County Council urged to 'rethink' cuts

Image caption,
The council's cabinet voted in November to recommend £43m of cuts

Somerset County Council has been warned that the cuts it wants to impose are "too deep".

Somerset's Liberal Democrats, including Jeremy Browne MP, say the Conservative-controlled council should think again about cutting £43m to its services.

The council's spending power has been reduced by £7.2m (2%).

The money it receives from central government has gone down by £27m (11.5%) however it is to receive £6.7m from the NHS and £2.8m in other grants.

Mr Browne said the budget settlement was better than expected.

'Not necessary'

"Somerset County Council now needs to think again about its destructively deep cuts," he said.

"The cuts they want to make are much bigger than is necessary and they were planned before they even knew its budget allocation."

The leader of the opposition, Lib Dem Jill Shortland, said: "The leader of the council was predicting far, far, worse than this and seemed intent on making cuts to services that were not necessary.

"I'm not entirely convinced that this administration will look at these figures and say 'oh we don't need to do anymore'... I'm not entirely convinced that they won't just cut services and jobs anyway."

The council said it was unable to comment until it had gone through the figures.

It has previously said the cuts were necessary to plug a massive gap in its finances and its cabinet unanimously voted in November to recommend £43m of cuts.

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