QUESTIONS remain over the impact which swingeing cuts by Derbyshire County Council will have on people living in the south of the county.
The authority has approved a programme of cuts leading to a £157 million reduction in spending over the next five years, including slashing services and cutting 1,600 jobs.
Proposals, which have been brought about by central Government cuts, were given the nod by the full council last week, but a spokesman for the authority said it was not yet possible to say exactly how the cuts would bite in South Derbyshire. No timescale has yet been set for the cuts, which include the closure of some children’s centres and libraries and a change to some subsidies.
Swadlincote South councillor Trevor Southerd told the Mail he was concerned about the effect which the cuts would have on people in the area.
“You can’t cut dismiss 1,600 workers and reduce the budget by this amount and not expect there to be issues. Highways, infrastructure, youth services – they are all going to be affected in their own way,” he said.
He added that the authority was aiming to protect the most vulnerable people, including the young.
Last week, the council announced South Derbyshire would share a £30,000 boost to youth services.
The cuts have become a political battleground for opposing sides of the council, with the controlling Labour group blaming the previous Conservative administration, and the Tories putting it down to the work carried out by Labour since they came into power in May.
Conservative councillor Martyn Ford, who represents Etwall and Repton, said: “I’m concerned by the knee-jerk reaction of the administration. I think there is a more sensible way to do it.”