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Hertfordshire Liberal Democrats produce an “Alternative Herts County Council Annual Report”

August 7, 2015 8:22 AM


Lib Dem County Councillors Protest Bus Cuts

At the last Hertfordshire County Council Meeting the Conservative Majority Group presented the customary Annual Report that they had asked council officers to produce. If you'd like to see just how Hertfordshire County Council views it's performance, you can take a look at their published Annual Report for 2014-15 on the County Council's website. The report reviews expenditure and illustrates just how much the Conservative-led council is reducing spending.

But anyone familiar with the county would, on reading this report, be immediately aware that a lot was missing.

Tring Liberal Democrat County Councuillor, Nick Hollinghurst, who has, over the last year, led protests locally against cuts to bus services and against poor standards of highways, street lighting and drainage maintenance said: "The truth and nothing but the truth - but certainly not the whole truth! Failing to mention matters like this that are so familiar to residents undermines the credibility of the whole report."

At the July County Council meeting, Lib Dems raised the following issues that were omitted from the Conservative-friendly 'Good News Review' for 2014/15:

  • Bus services slashed - despite the Council itself writing a report saying it "increased the chance of the exclusion of older people" - and many people now left without evening bus services
  • Consultations ignored - when HCC did not get the answer it wanted to its planned cuts to bus services consultation it just ran another one! It did not like the answer to that one either so it just ignored both consultations in the end.
  • The Conservatives decided that Council Tax was to go up by 1.99% in Feb 2015, despite a £21M surplus in 2014/15 being forecast at that point
  • Mobile libraries axed with inadequate provision for all the vulnerable groups currently depending on the service
  • One in ten children in SW Herts did not get a place in any of their top 4 secondary schools choces on first time of application
  • 83 percent of looked after children did not get 5 GCSEs grade A-C: meaning the most vulnerable children in our society would not get the opportunity to take a higher course at college or progress to A Levels.
  • The Highways Repairs Programme slipped - with 142 schemes postponed due to a lack of proper financial control
  • Shambolic street-lighting repairs where some repairs have no deadline to be carried out
  • Veolia Incinerator shambles at New Barnfield site - HCC spent over £12m of your money but have nothing to show for it
  • Just a week after the local elections in May 2014 HCC tried to close 2 household waste sites: but after Lib Dem and local resident campaigns they were forced to keep sites open.