Today’s Local Government Settlement: my response

A statement from Cllr Stephen Morgan, Leader of the Labour Group, Portsmouth City Council

At a time when Parliament and the whole nation is discussing the crisis in social care funding – and the dreadful costs families will bear for years to come – Labour was the only party locally to offer Portsmouth an answer.

The council’s Labour Group proposed fully costed amendments to the city council budget on Tuesday. These would have secured greater funding for social care. But Labour’s plans were voted down by Conservative and UKIP councillors, while the Liberal Democrats abstained.

Cllr Stephen Morgan said:

Labour’s savings would have come from reducing money paid out to councillors and sharing ‘council business’ services with other administrations in surrounding areas. 

Yet the Tory administration, which consistently seeks to strip money from public services and has lauded Solent Devolution, rejected our plans for greater collaboration and a more frugal approach to the cost of local politics. This could be viewed simply as bitterly ironic, were it not for the very real price that local people will now have to pay.

 Projections nationally indicate council tax increases will not be enough to stave off a crisis in care, which will spread to the already over-stretched NHS as it is left to pick up the pieces. 

 Cllr Morgan added:

“Labour has a vision for a council that will work actively to improve lives. Yet again, it appears we have an administration that knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing. Portsmouth people deserve better, and we will continue to stand up for them in every way we can.”