Budget meeting: Residents have their say on how £60m should be cut

Cllr Roger Ramsey said Queen's Hospital is "simply not ready" to handle services transfer from anoth

Cllr Roger Ramsey said Queen's Hospital is "simply not ready" to handle services transfer from another hospital - Credit: Archant

Proposed cuts to the borough’s youth service and cultural amenities were brought to the forefront at a public meeting last night.

Dozens of residents took to the myplace centre, in Gooshays Drive, Harold Hill, to quiz cabinet members and Havering Council staff about the local authority’s budget plans.

The panel consisted of Cllr Roger Ramsey, the council leader, chief executive Cheryl Coppell and directors.

The budget proposals include cuts to voluntary services and the funding awarded to Queen’s Theatre, in Hornchurch.

But the most hotly debated topics were the future of libraries and the youth service.

A few residents argued that the funding for libraries should be slashed significantly and the money given to the youth service, with some even suggesting that branches be closed.

However, others said they valued both services and were worried about the impact cuts could have.

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Cllr Ramsey said the £60million of savings required had put the council “between a rock and a hard place”.

The public meeting was the second to be held, with a third taking place from 6.30pm on Thursday at Romford Baptist Church, in Main Road.

See a full report on the myplace meeting in this week’s Recorder.

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