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Lib Dems prompt Hampshire County Council u-turn on budget cuts

February 7, 2018 9:45 PM
Originally published by Basingstoke Liberal Democrats

Number 12 bus

Local Liberal Democrats have welcomed news that Hampshire County Council Tories have scaled back their controversial cuts to important public services in the borough.

Late last year the Tories voted through a package of damaging spending reductions and increased charges. These included axing bus subsidies; closing many recycling centres; stopping school crossing patrols; charging for visits to the Wade Road tip and introducing 50p fee each time you use a 'free' bus pass.

Liberal Democrats have led criticism of the Tory proposals prompting campaigns such as John McKay's well-supported petition to save the Number 12 bus.

Despite some welcome changes, many services still face an uncertain future:

  • 1 in 3 subsidised bus serves still face the Tory axe
  • Closure of many Household Waste Recycling Centres has been postponed, BUT they still hope to introduce a Tory trash tax for trips to the Wade Rd tip
  • The few School Crossing Patrols will remain for now
  • Some Community transport funding will remain in place.

Gavin James, leader of Liberal Democrats on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, said: "It's encouraging to see the Conservatives are finally listening to the residents they are supposed to serve.

The petition that John McKay launched to save the Number 12 bus secured over 850 signatures and showed how much people in Brighton Hill, Cranbourne, Black Dam and Eastrop value the service. John will now keep up the pressure on the Conservatives to save our much-used Number 12 bus.

"And Lib Dem pressure has secured another important victory on Household Waste Recycling Centres. A year after the Tories we're forced to scrap plans to reduce tip opening times, their proposals to close half of Hampshire's waste and recycling centres have been dumped in response to Liberal Democrat pressure.

"BUT we should not forget that the Tories are still proposing significant cuts to services and they still plan to introduce new taxes for using 'free' bus passes and trips to Wade Road."