Councillor's fears for vulnerable groups

ANDOVER county councillor Tony Hooke says he fears for the safety of certain vulnerable groups in Hampshire if proposed cuts go ahead.

He says he can’t believe claims made by Hampshire’s leader Roy Perry in an official press release that the county will be able to deliver similar or even better services with less money in the next financial year.

Hampshire is about to agree a fourth year of council tax standstills next month in the face of continued Government funding cuts – 12 per cent next year.

Councillor Hooke, the UKIP deputy group leader, says the Conservative-run county council should be demanding and securing more financial support grants from the Government as only Surrey and Bucking-hamshire receive less money per head than Hampshire, which gets £116.

Councillor Hooke said: “With 12 per cent cuts across all departments, is Hampshire going to be safe as a county? Where is the risk analysis?

“I’m particularly concerned about social services for young, old and those with mental health problems. The state of the roads is an ongoing issue which has worsened because of the weather.

“We are being sold a pup by Roy Perry when he should be trying to get a better deal for Hampshire from communities secretary Eric Pickles.”

Councillor Roy Perry will spell out the final details of his budget on 7 February at a meeting of the Cabinet to be voted on by the full council on 20 February.

One group already facing the axe is the 36-strong team of police-accredited community safety officers.

The team face being cut as part of plans to slash £93 million from the council budget.

Cllr Roy Perry said the work of the county’s ACSO service overlapped with the police community support officers.

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