Cornwall Council’s Liberal Democrat Group have welcomed the adoption of their Council Tax Freeze proposal but have warned about the “devil in the lack of detail”.
The Lib Dems had proposed a freeze for local tax payers last November which was reluctantly taken on board by the Council’s Tory-led administration after initial indications they might seek a rise.
Lib Dem Group Leader Jeremy Rowe said: “We are pleased that the Tories were finally able to listen to the voice of the Cornish taxpayer and back away from a painful increase during such difficult times, but their overall budget still contains more questions than answers.
“The devil really will be in the lack of detail. We know that the Council will be making £40m of cuts as a result of this, although the Leader of the Council prefers the phrase ‘reductions in service’, but we want to know where the axe is going to fall. Our fear is that, for example, Cornwall stands to lose half its bus routes due to the administrations ill thought out plans.
“It is disgraceful that they can’t be more open about what they intend to do with Cornwall’s money.”
Ann Kerridge, the Lib Dem Finance spokesman, added: “Many of the problems in this budget have come from the Tory-led administration’s basic lack of financial management skills. They failed to listen to our warnings about a black hole in the budgets for bus routes and car parking, and have had to back away – for now – from a proposal to abandon half of Cornwall’s public toilets. Just about the only thing they do well is give the impression that they don’t know what on earth they’re doing.”
Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem Group, Alex Folkes, said: “We will be pressing them over the coming weeks and months to outline what their plans are. It will not be acceptable for Cornwall to suffer again purely because of their lack of attention to detail.”