The Essex County Council election is important to YOU if you:
Have elderly relatives in need of support to maintain their dignity and independence
Have children in State schools
Use the roads and highways that cross our county, and that the ECC is responsible for maintaining
Are concerned about the services available to support vulnerable children and adults
Use and enjoy the library services and the opportunities for further and adult education
All of these services are under threat.
-The Tory Government is cutting the amount of money it provides to ECC by a third – some £50mn.
– But a bigger population and the cost of paying the National Living Wage mean it will cost the council an extra £40mn just to deliver the same services.
– Together, this means ECC needs an extra £90mn in 2016-17 just to stand still. It has increased Council Tax by 4% – the maximum it can increase it without calling a referendum – but this will bring in only an extra £22mn.
– The council plans to fill the remaining gap in 2016-17 by drawing down reserves to dangerously low levels (just 23 days of expenditure), and by continuing to cut overall expenditure despite the severe pressures from rising demand and increasing costs.
– On it’s own website, the Tory run Council admits it does not know how the increasing shortfall can be met after 2017-18.
This is happening across the country –indeed, relatively wealthy and fast-growing Essex is better off than most councils.
The Tory Government is not putting public finances on a sound footing – it is transferring the problems to local authorities and to health Service Trusts, and building up problems that are becoming increasingly apparent and will be expensive to solve.
What difference would a Labour Council make?
We will need a Labour Government to solve the underfunding of the services on which those of us who are not Eton educated millionaires depend.
But There are four key reasons to vote Labour in the ECC elections:-
To send a message to the Government that you are not happy to see money wasted on tax cuts for the rich while our roads are full of potholes and basic services on which we and our loved ones depend are in risk of collapse.
To elect a council that you can trust to prioritise the things that ordinary people want and value.
To fight back at local level against extreme Tory policies that undermine your public services, and for which they have no mandate – including the forced academisation of primary schools, and the creeping privatisation of almost every public service.
Vote against Private affluence for the few – but Public Squalor endured by all of us.