Each March the Council holds a meeting specifically to consider the budget for the forthcoming year. For the third year running the Conservative Party in Wolverhampton has not presented an alternative budget, despite this being their opportunity to demonstrate how they would balance the books.
Labour Leader, Cllr Roger Lawrence, said,
“The Conservatives in Wolverhampton are a weak and lazy opposition who continue to pass up the chance to show how they would run the Council. They said they wanted to save the Neighbourhood Wardens Service, this was their chance to show how this could be achieved – they were not able or willing to do so.”
“It was a Labour Government who provided the initial funding for Neighbour Wardens and it was this Labour Council who have sought to protect the service over the last 4 years in the face of continued savage Government cuts. It is with a heavy heart we have finally been forced to remove the funding for this non-statutory service, but we were left with no choice.”
“Since this Government came into power Wolverhampton’s grant has been cut by over 50%, while the Government has protected far wealthier areas of the country from the same level of cuts. Wolverhampton has endured a cut of nearly £250 per head, compared to wealthy Wokingham where the cut per head is just £2.29. This is fundamentally unfair.”
“It is hypocritical and disingenuous of the opposition to say they would save any service and then not to demonstrate how they would do this.”
The cost of the Neighbourhood Wardens Service is almost £0.5 million a year, the removal of the service will be offset by an increase in the number of PCSOs in the City. Other Councils such as Hampshire, Dudley, South Staffordshire and Telford and Wrekin have all ended their equivalent service.