So Cllr Steve Flitter thinks Labour cannot see genuine hardship (Mercury letters last week). I can assure him the Labour group in Derbyshire can indeed see genuine hardship in our county - the main cause being the punitive policies being forced down from the Coalition Government, that’s the Tory led Government being propped up by Cllr Flitter’s own party. What Cllr Flitter fails to explain in his letter is that nearly half the councils in the country have rejected the Council Tax Freeze Grant. The reason so many councils are refusing the Council Tax Freeze Grant is, that by accepting it, all they are doing is storing up trouble for the future. If the current administration does not think they will have control in the coming years, then I suppose they do not care. The Labour group would have liked to see a 1.99% increase in the Council Tax, equal to a 40p a week increase on a band D property, this increase would have raised a much needed £5.5million of revenue. As it stands, our Tory led council have had to use £8million from the council reserves (reserves built up under a Labour administration). They have cut £9million to the adult social care budget, but only identified where £5.7million of these cuts will be made. All this adds up to a massive hole in the council’s operating budget. Whilst Cllrs Lewer and Flitter continue to make cheap political points, I will be concerning myself with the shocking front-page news of last week’s Mercury. If it is predicted that 45 elderly residents will die in Derbyshire Dales this year, just because they cannot afford to heat their homes, then we need to act. I certainly can’t see cutting £9millon from the adult care budget being any help in this area. Labour presided over one recession in 13 years of Government. That recession was caused by a worldwide collapse of the banking system and all major linked economies suffered the same fate. The Tory Lib Dem Coalition faces a triple dip recession in a matter of 3 years. At the same time all major linked economies seem to be able to stimulate and boost their economies. Cllr Lewer states that, “Derbyshire can not afford to have Labour Back.” In reality Derbyshire can’t afford another term of Tory non-leadership.
Prospective Labour Party Candidate, Matlock Ward