Protecting care services would be ‘frivolous’, says Tory councillor

PUBLISHED: 16:04 14 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:04 14 April 2016

Tory councillor Simon Fawthrop

Tory councillor Simon Fawthrop


Labour have attacked a Conservative councillor for his comments on care services

Labour councillors have launched an attack on the Tories after a Conservative councillor said it would be ‘frivolous’ to protect care services at Tuesday’s council meeting

The comment followed Labour councillor Vanessa Allen’s proposal to use the underspend for the 2015-16 budget to reverse some of the £11.2 million cuts to be made in 2016-17 to adults’ and children’s social care services, fostering allowances and public health.

Labour claimed that Conservative councillor Simon Fawthrop replied by saying that such a move would be ‘frivolous’.

Bromley Conservatives cut £11.2 million from the council’s 2015-16 care services budget and are now proposing cutting the allowances paid to foster carers by up to 23 per cent.

Cllr Angela Wilkins, leader of the Labour Group, said “I am simply appalled by Cllr Fawthrop’s comment. Care Services are essential to many people.”

At the meeting, it was reported that Care Services had underspent its budget for 2015-16 by £3.6 million, while other services have an additional £1.85 million left in their budgets.

Cllr Watkins added that the Conservatives have been using most of the underspend to buy commercial property.

“I’d like them to try explaining this to the parent I spoke to this weekend who has three autistic children and has to fight to get even basic services for them,” she said.

“Services aren’t frivolous, services are what the council is there to provide. It’s what we pay council tax for.”

Responding to Labour’s remarks, cllr Fawthrop stated that the frivolous comment was made in relation to Labour’s amendment.

“They had this exact same debate at the budget setting and within a month’s time they are trying to get into something that was already dealt with then,” he added.

“I am 100 per cent behind the budget. There is a gap in our budget in two years’ time of £28 million and, as always, Labour want to spend, spend, spend, with no thought for tomorrow.”

He added that it would be better for everyone if the budget gap were dealt with and Labour needs to ‘grow up and get realistic’ about finances.

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