Derbyshire Conservatives today blasted the Labour controlling Group for its use of public money to shore up its vote in mainly Labour heartlands. This follows the announcement today by Derbyshire County Council that they would seek to approve £2.3million expenditure from the Council's General Reserves at Cabinet next week in its 'Communities Priorities Programme'. They want to use taxpayers money, via their councillors, to deliver projects in areas by using the Governments definitions of high need.
This follows on from hitting Derbyshire with deep cuts to Community Transport, bus subsidies and Children's Centres. Derbyshire’s rural communities have been particularly hard hit by the swingeing unfair cuts. This comes after pay rises for the Cabinet and Leader following their election in 2013, substantial grants to the Derbyshire Unemployed Workers Centre, who were infamous for the unpleasant T-shirts wishing death upon the late former Prime Minister, Baroness Thatcher and contracting a PR company with links to the Labour Party to deliver a communications strategy at County Hall.
A quick breakdown of the figures shows that of the £2,271,000 Communities Priorities Programme a figure of £2,116,000 or 93% is to be allocated to non-Conservative divisions, the vast majority of over 90% will go only to Labour divisions.
Cllr Barry Lewis Conservative Leader said,
“It is utterly astonishing after years of harping on about government cuts and constantly beating the public over the head with figures like £157m and then £270m that in less than a year before the County Council election they’d seek to approve this £2.3m expenditure.
It’s nothing more than gerrymandering after they did much worse than they expected in the recent Local Elections and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections. They know that with Jeremy Corbyn as their leader and their poor track record at County Hall since 2013 they’re in trouble and they’re trying to sweeten their voters.
The trouble is the public of Derbyshire shall see right through it and they won’t thank them for making an example of their frontline services to underline their mantra about Government cuts and then attempting to throw breadcrumbs back at them.”
Deputy Conservative Leader and Shadow Cabinet Member for Highways Simon Spencer said,
“Labour should use this resource in a fair and equitable manner and use it to mitigate impacts for all Derbyshire residents. Instead they’ve chosen to cut vital services like Community Transport and bus subsidies whilst giving themselves the means to mitigate some of those impacts only in their own areas. They’re just going to hang the rest of Derbyshire out to dry.”