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County council chief slates Cameron as ‘out of touch’

Labour leader Ed Milliband in Ilkeston. Derbyshire Labour group leader Anne Western.

Labour leader Ed Milliband in Ilkeston. Derbyshire Labour group leader Anne Western.

Council leader Anne Western has blasted David Cameron as “out of touch with reality” after the Prime Minister accused her authority of playing the “blame game”.

One thousand and six hundred jobs will be axed, facilities lost and all services affected as Derbyshire County Council struggles to meet Government spending cuts of £157m over the next five years.

Chief executive Ian Stephenson said: “We’ve known nothing like this since the Great Depression.”

But in an interview with the BBC, Mr Cameron said: “There’s a danger they are trying to play blame game. When you look at the cuts and the additional cuts they are being asked to make, they are relatively modest and can be done.”

Cllr Western said the Government was putting the authority in an “impossible situation”.

She added: “David Cameron is a man out of touch with the realities facing local Government. Perhaps he is not aware of the extra cuts imposed on us over the summer by the Department for Communities and Local Government?” Despite the cuts, top county councillors will keep their £3,000 pay-rise after the move was approved by an independent panel.

 

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