CUTS CRUNCH:Labour leaders proud of ‘outstanding’ budget

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THE BUDGET put together by Ashfield District Council is one that avoids “dismantling” good work that has been carried out over the last 15 years.

That’s the summing-up of the leader, Coun John Knight (Lab), who says his fellow councillors and officers can be proud of the work they have done to protect key services.

“I did not come into local government to start cutting services and making people redundant,” said Coun Knight, who formerly represented Hucknall.

“What we’ve done is remove senior tiers of management. We’ve removed what I think were really excessive amounts of bureaucracy, and the money that has been saved has allowed us to spend it on frontline services.

“If any organisation loses a quarter of its money, that is some whack. We’ve managed not to cut hundreds of jobs because it won’t always be like this.

“If you dismantle services, they won’t come back. We are trying to keep everything that was good so that anyone who is in charge in the future has a good framework.”

The deputy leader of the council, Coun John Wilmott (Lab), of Hucknall, said: “The budget is an outstanding achievement. At the moment, we’ve managed to avoid making massive amounts of job cuts.

“Everyone is working very hard behind the scenes. I’m a realist but we are working towards a position where the number of workers who lose their jobs is kept to a minimum while protecting major services.

“This has all been caused by cuts in government grants, which have come even though we are a deprived area. The council is among the hardest hit in the country.”