Published: November 10, 2010
Burnham-On-Sea MP hits out at County Council's £43m cutbacks

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has joined protesters in calling for Somerset County Council to re-think its decision to make cuts to services totalling more than £43m.

Tessa Munt attended a full meeting of the County Council in Taunton on Wednesday (November 10th), where councillors voted in favour of the wide-reaching cutbacks.

The MP, pictured here outside the meeting, told "It was a depressing meeting - the overall message that came out is that the council has decided that it has no choice but to make the cuts across the board."

"But it doesn't. It has choices on timeframes, because no government settlement has yet been announced, and it could also consider introducing small council tax rises to keep more services running."

She added: "I also think the council could cut back on its own costs still further by looking carefully at its buildings and properties, for example. These could be used far more effectively by bringing multiple council services together in single buildings rather dotted across Somerset."

The cutbacks were also opposed by the union Unison, which said that it hoped councillors would think again and spend a few more weeks considering the plans.

County Council chief executive Sheila Wheeler said the cuts were "step one in a long and arduous journey". The cuts include reducing funding for youth clubs, bus subsidies and arts groups.


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