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Council budget: Opposition parties have their say

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 August 2014

Cllr Clarence Barrett

Cllr Clarence Barrett

Archant

Leaders of the opposition groups have had their say on the budget proposals.

Cllr Lawrence Webb Cllr Lawrence Webb

Residents Group:

Cllr Clarence Barrett, leader, said: “Against a backdrop of unprecedented cuts owing to the Government’s deficit reduction programme, we are faced with very difficult choices and decisions. It is vital that the proposed cuts are set out as transparently as possible so that our residents, along with the business and voluntary community, are fully consulted.

“As in previous years, the Residents’ Association will take a pragmatic and realistic approach to the savings proposals and ensure that all options are fully scrutinised.”

Cllr Keith Darvill Cllr Keith Darvill

Independent Residents Group:

Cllr Jeffrey Tucker, leader, said: “The Independent Residents Group will as a team be looking into all the budget changes. We will further be looking to see if this council are making the correct proposed changes across the whole of the borough and not as in the past the bigger cuts coming from the South of the borough, Rainham Wennington, and South Hornchurch.”

UK Independence Party:

Cllr Jeffrey Tucker Cllr Jeffrey Tucker

Councillor Lawrence Webb, leader, said: “There are things that we are looking at in UKIP. One thing we want to do is reduce the salaries of all the senior employees within Havering [Council], all those over £50,000.

“There’s no overall majority, it [setting the budget] has got to be a more inclusive process than it has been before there’s a degree of cross party decision we all have red lines and slightly different ideas.”

Labour:

Cllr Keith Darvill: “I’m very disappointed in a number of the proposals. Some relating to people with learning difficulties, others in relating to reduced support to Queen’s Theatre, the changes to libraries, the proposed changes to the youth service and children’s centres - I think that could have a long term adverse impact.”

Cllr Darvill said the budget needed scrutiny to ensure that cuts were necessary and would not have a negative long-term impact.

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