In reply to Councillor Rhodes

Further to the comments made by Councillor Alan Rhodes in the following press release:

I offer the following response:-

“Councillor Alan Rhodes and his Labour colleagues knew when they stood for election in May that Nottinghamshire County Council would need to save at least £130 million between 2013 and 2017. The Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review brings a small additional savings requirement of around two percent in real terms, but this does not change the fact that Councillor Rhodes entered the recent county elections with much more certainty about the task ahead than the Conservatives did in 2009. We knew local government funding would have to reduce to pay the bills of a Labour Government that had been living beyond its means, but the full cost of their mismanagement of the economy was not revealed until after the General Election in 2010.

Between 2010 and 2013, under the Conservatives, Nottinghamshire County Council saved the taxpayer £180 million. We removed the waste and bureaucracy we inherited, while successfully protecting and enhancing frontline services to our most vulnerable young and older people. We promised to manage the taxpayer’s money in a business-like manner and did just that, freezing council tax throughout our four years in office.

Councillor Rhodes is clearly keen to get his excuses in early, but demonstrates total hypocrisy in doing so. For most of their time in opposition, Labour criticised our savings proposals without tabling any alternatives. The exception was in 2012 when they produced an alternative budget proposing three per cent increases in council tax each year until 2016, but then reversed this in the lead up to the election, instead making various costly promises about turning streetlights back on and increasing council salaries.

Labour won back control of the council by one seat. It is now their duty to set out their policies, achieve the savings required and accept the responsibility that comes with being in power. We will certainly not be allowing them to blame the Coalition Government for the financial situation Tony Blair and Gordon Brown created.”

Councillor Mrs Kay Cutts

Conservative Group Leader

Nottinghamshire County Council