Front line jobs should be safe

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Angry protesters waved placards outside county hall on Tuesday in an attempt to persuade councillors to oppose tough budget cuts .

It is the third time in six months that we have seen campaigners outside the county council offices and evidence that what is happening to our community is finally hitting home.

The reality is that there is not enough money coming thanks to government strategy and the mandarins running the county are faced with slashing their budgets to meet the shortfall.

The hard fact for us all to swallow is that this county is cutting out £33 million of services and that many of those will affect the most vulnerable in the community.

The young, elderly, poor and disabled are always going to be those who rely on help from the local authority and as taxpayers we know that is where our money goes.

We want the front line services maintained. We want those less able than ourselves to have a helping hand. We want to be reassured that when we need help there will still be a service to which we can turn.

The government promised that vulnerable groups would be safeguarded against cuts but this doesn’t seem to have filtered down to the grassroots where these vital decisions are being taken.

Councillors at the full cabinet meeting next week have a tough call to make but before they wield the axe finally surely they can look again to see if they can save these services and cut more out of the budget for the corporate side of the council business.

Everyone claims to know a council worker stuck in an office shuffling paperwork and earning a better than average salary for doing very little in the way of hard labour.

If the black hole has to be filled perhaps the jobs of these backroom workers should be reviewed again and funds for the front line army could maybe be saved.

Amanda Hatfield, editor