Quiz Warwickshire leader on £92m council cuts

Warwickshire county council Leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe.
Warwickshire county council Leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe.

The leader of Warwickshire County Council is coming to the Clock Towers Shopping Centre on Friday November 1 to discuss the council’s £93m cuts.

The amount, which has to be saved by 2018, is unprecedented and is on top of the savings already achieved which led to the street light switch-off and the closure of several youth clubs in Rugby.

The visit by leader Cllr Izzi Seccombe is part of the tour of the county by senior councillors to discuss the potential impact on services caused by the changes, which are due reduced funding from Westminster.

Cllr Seccombe said: “I want to meet residents face to face to talk to them about the scale of the issues we face.

“I am interested to hear what people think and what they would do if faced with similar decisions.

“Information from these sessions will be considered as we begin to shape our budget proposals ahead of February 2014.”

The county’s Lib Dem group, led by Rugby councillor Jerry Roodhouse, has called for a debate on whether all the county’s councils should merge into one unitary authority to save costs.

Cllr Roodhouse said: “Following a high level meeting of Liberal Democrats from across the county, I have written to the leaders of the other political groups, calling for the start of an open honest debate over how best to tackle the long term financial pressures facing local government across the county.

“This must include an objective review of how Warwickshire is governed in the future, and the benefits that could be obtained from moving to some form of unified local authority structure.”

Meanwhile, the county council’s ‘online budget calculator’, designed to explain the choices the authority faces, has been criticised by Pete McLaren of Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

Describing it as a “gimmick” that “starts from the wrong premise,” he said: “ We must not fall into the trap of suggesting one service is more important than another.

Cllr Seccombe will be in Rugby between 1 and 4pm.