Roodhouse joins Lib Dem revolt in letter to Times

editorial image

JERRY Roodhouse was among a group of leading Lib Dem councillors who signed a letter attacking Government cuts in The Times last week.

Publication of the letter prompted a row between Government ministers and their coalition partners. Cllr Roodhouse leads the Lib Dems on the county and borough councils.

The letter was signed by more than 90 prominent Lib Dem councillors, including the leaders of 18 local authorities. It criticised the scale and pace of cuts, directing much of the criticism at Tory communities secretary Eric Pickles. The minister has repeatedly attacked councils in the media and accused them of wasting money. The councillors who penned the letter hit back by saying cuts will “impact on all front line council services, including care services to the vulnerable”.

It read: “Rather than assist the country’s recovery by making public-sector savings in a way that can protect local economies and the front line, the cuts are so structured that they will do the opposite.

“The Secretary of State’s role should be to facilitate necessary savings while promoting localism and the Big Society. Unfortunately, Eric Pickles has felt it better to shake a stick at councillors than work with us.”

Cllr Roodhouse said: “I make no bones about it - myself and other Lib Dems will stand up for the people we represent.

“The cuts should have been spread more evenly - that way they would have been easier to facilitate.

“I’m determined to stand up for those who elected me, regardless of who is in Government.”