Tory anger at cash reserves as cuts bite

County Coun Geoff Driver
County Coun Geoff Driver

County Hall’s Labour rulers have been blasted for making savage cuts to services at a time when the authority’s bank balance is bursting with spare cash.

Tory leader Coun Geoff Driver declared council tax payers would be “amazed” at the level of economies being demanded when the amount of money being held in reserves was so great.

LCC is sitting on the best part of a quarter of a billion pounds (in reserves)

Coun Geoff Driver

“LCC is sitting on the best part of a quarter of a billion pounds (in reserves),” he said at a meeting of the full council.

“In the main part they are not committed. And the county council could change its commitments if it was so to do.

“Members of the public in Lancashire will be amazed we are still making cuts when we are sitting on that level of reserves.

“With sensible use of those reserves we could defer most if not prevent them altogether. We are saving up for a rainy day, well it’s raining now.”

Labour deputy leader David Borrow explained the authority was having to make an extra £240m of cuts spread over three years and most of those had not yet been delivered.

“On top of that the Chancellor is looking for further cuts of between 25 and 40 per cent,” he said.

“Yet the leader of the opposition is saying we should blow all the savings we have got. Surely not.”