Ealing Budget Cuts represent "Criminals' Field Day"
First assessment by Ealing Liberal Democrats
Budget Cuts could lead to more crime in the borough according to the Liberal Democrats.
A package of measures to save millions of pounds was agreed by the Cabinet last night.
They include halving the Park Ranger service, cutting the number of Police and Community Safety Officers and reducing the amount of Council Scrutiny committees.
The plans were put together after the government reduced council grants by around 28%.
The Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Gary Malcolm says:
“Although the Council needs to make cuts some of the suggestions will appear to really hurt residents in Ealing, Acton and Chiswick such as the police, enviro-crime officers and the 50% cut to the loved park rangers.
''Liberal Democrats believe that the Council should do more to cut the media budget since this is a large area that needs to be trimmed first.
''Things will fall through the cracks since the Council thinks the police will take on the responsibility of patrolling our parks and the police will be assuming the Council will. So criminals might have a field day.”
Labour Council Leader Julian Bell has responded :
“I think it’s extremely irresponsible for the Liberal Democrats to be scaremongering in this fashion. As we said at the Cabinet meeting we have been in close consultation with the police on all of our budget proposals for community safety. Whilst we are reducing the number of PCSOs we pay for we will be spending £750,000 next year on supporting the police to provide PCSOs and Police Constables. We are in agreement with the Police that these changes will make the streets of Ealing safer.
''The Liberal Democrats have made no alternative budget suggestions other than trimming the communications budget, which has already been reduced by this administration. They have made no constructive proposals on how we can reduce the budget by the massive amount required.
''If Cllr Malcolm is so concerned with making the street safer perhaps he should resign from the Liberal Democrats as it is their government who is reducing police numbers across the country which will make keeping Ealing safe make much more difficult.”
1 December 2010