By Graham Smith
Cornwall’s councillors have voted against plans to save £1 million for children’s services, which are earmarked for deep cuts in today’s (Tuesday’s) budget proposals.
A Labour amendment would have used cash from car parking enforcement and a proposed increase in spending on commercial services to protect health visitors, school nurses and post-16 education transport.
Labour group leader Tim Dwelly said the proposal was a serious measure, accurately costed, which would protect children against some of the worst impacts of central government cuts. Children’s services portfolio holder Sally Hawken welcomed the initiative, saying it was unusual to see councillors taking the issue seriously.
But several Liberal Democrat councillors criticised the “headline-grabbing” nature of the amendment. Some Lib Dem, Tory and Independent councillors abstained, but the ruling administration voted 85 – 5, with 11 abstentions, to reject the idea.