Lancashire Tories have been accused of “having the cheek of the devil” after they launched an online Save Our Services petition just days before the Labour-run County Council is to reveal the names of some 100 buildings set for closure.
The cuts are set to be approved by the the council’s Cabinet on September 8.
But as anxious communities wait to hear whether their libraries, young people’s centres and other community buildings will be spared, a bitter war of words broke out over which party is really to blame for the cuts and just who is being hypocritical.
The council’s Deputy Leader Coun David Borrow said: “The Tory group in Lancashire have got the cheek of the devil.
“At a time when the council is making cuts of £100m in 2016/17, with further cuts of more than £200m by 2020/21 to pretend the council doesn’t need to make cuts is stuff and nonsense.
“Lancashire is between a rock and a hard place in seeking to protect the most vulnerable.
At a time when the council is making cuts of £100m in 2016/17, with further cuts of more than £200m by 2020/21 to pretend the council doesn’t need to make cuts is stuff and nonsense
“It’s a pity the Tories don’t spend more time persuading the Government to provide the people of Lancashire with adequate resources, rather than pretending it’s all Labour’s fault.”
He said the Tories had “come up with wheezes involving borrowing or using reserves.”
But Tory Group leader Coun Geoff Driver said the cuts would hit hard and dramatically affect the lives of some of the most vulnerable and were “ill thought, short-sighted and wholly unnecessary.
He said: “This petition is a chance for people to voice their concerns about the drastic measures Labour are intent on taking.
“We have presented a fully costed alternative plan which actually left the council with £1m.”