Labour budget branded 'lazy and lame'
THE Conservative opposition on North East Lincolnshire Council slammed the ruling group's spending proposals as a "lazy" and "lame Labour budget".
The group voted against the authority's 2013/14 budget along with all four Liberal Democrats and the council's sole UKIP member on Thursday.
It was passed with unanimous backing from Labour councillors, as reported.
Councillor John Fenty (Con, Haverstoe) described the ruling group as "lazy and remiss", accusing them of taking the easy option by using reserves to prop up their spending proposals.
The council will take an extra £267,000 out of reserves in the next financial year to pay for a series of last minute amendments, including deferrals on increases to charges for meals on wheels and taxi licences, and hosting the Britain In Bloom awards ceremony.
Councillor Iain Colquhoun (Con, Waltham) questioned the decision to spend £175,000 on marketing and tourism, saying it was based on nothing more than a "sheet of paper" with no business plan.
And Melanie Dickerson (Con, Wolds) said she could not support the move to "charge increased costs for the most vulnerable people in the community" by charging for the number of carers a person requires to look after them.
She said the decision to slash ward funding by £2,000 in each ward was "ill-conceived" and would restrict the ability of ward councillors to improve the lives of residents.
Councillor Steve Beasant (Lib Dem, East Marsh) described the budget as a "hatchet job" and said the £14 million of savings were written in "invisible ink".
He added: "Nobody knows what's in that £14 million. Would business set a budget like this? Vote on it tonight and then tomorrow take out a knife and slash it. Nobody would run a business like that. I can't vote for it."