19th January 2005
Senior County Council Officers recommend budgetary cuts, which if implemented could have compromised Public Safety.At a meeting of the Community Life Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee held on Tuesday 18th January 2005, members were presented with a report asking them to consider cuts in services to keep any council tax rise in line with Government recommendations. Apparently it does not seem to have been necessary for the authors of the report to seek legal advice from the County Solicitor, which is surprising since some of the suggested cuts could have compromised public safety. Since the County Council has a legal duty to ensure that within reason the highway remains safe, cuts of this nature could significantly put members of the public at risk. (Some examples can be found in the table below). As a result, in the event of a fatality, which could be attributed to the economy measures, someone could find himself on a corporate manslaughter charge. Fortunately, some members of the committee realised the serious implications of the proposals which officers had failed to point out. After some debate, it was decided by the narrowest of margins (a surprising situation for a scrutiny committee which is supposed to be subjecting proposals to robust scrutiny) to recommend to the Executive that the committee accepts the cuts, providing that they do not compromise public safety. These examples are taken from the pages 40 and 41 of the Agenda to the Community Life Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday 18th January 2005. Saving: Reduce revenue funded capitalised safety schemes and surfacing schemes.
The proposed saving from road safety education and school crossing patrols, which should be paramount for the safety of our children, amounts to considerably less than the £74,000 which the Packet has revealed is expended on bottled water, which apparently is so essential for the "well being" of the officer establishment!!!!!It must raise concerns as to whether we really have our priorities right. For more information please contact Councillor Graeme Hicks Telephone 01209 217605 or mobile 07748383982 E-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org Web Site www.cllrghicks.net.