Campaigners against cuts take fight to Dudley Council House

10:20am Wednesday 4th December 2013

THE fallout from Dudley Council’s budget busting cuts landed on the authority’s doorstep ahead of a full council meeting.

Protestors demanding an end to the axing of services to save cash gathered on the steps of Dudley Council House on December 2.

Dudley Coalition Against Cuts say public services should not be farmed out to the private sector and slashing facilities will begin to have devastating consequences.

Cllr Will Duckworth from the Green Party, said: “Enough is enough, they are now cutting services which are vital – they are going to kill people.”

The authority last week announced plans to close seven borough children’s centres were to be shelved but during the meeting the ruling Labour group’s cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Tim Crumpton, painted a bleak picture of the future if the government continues to cut council funding.

He said: “Ever since children’s services was set up it has been under funded, we face massive cuts over the next couple of years that mean there will be nothing left of us.”

Cllr Crumpton faced calls from his resignation from Tory leader Cllr Patrick Harley who claimed radical changes were needed in the children’s services department.

Cllr Harley said: “It seems increasingly clear that the cabinet member has no control over the direction his department is going. The manner in which children’s centres have been handled under his watch has been nothing short of appalling.

“We have no confidence in the cabinet member, does he have the continued support of the leader of the council? If not, will he fall on his own sword or wait until the predicted reshuffle on May?”

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Crumpton said: “The Local Government Association has just inspected my directorate, one of their comments was there is strong political leadership shown.

“I am proud of what we do and I have the support of my leader and regular discussions with him about how things are going.

“I think Patrick Harley should look at himself as he does not appear to keep the confidence of his own party.”

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