Essex Conservatives reject extra money for NHS/social care crisis and local roads
Originally published by Chelmsford Liberal Democrats
Essex County Council Conservatives have voted down Liberal Democrat proposals to:
- address the Essex NHS and social care crisis by increasing funding for partnership working with the NHS and care providers
- put more of the Highways budget under local control, to speed up the repair of local roads and deliver important safety schemes
- invest in new youth services including school lunchtime sessions
- address Conservative cuts to school transport and recycling centres
Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Mike Mackrory, said:
"The Conservatives missed an opportunity to address some of Essex residents' highest priority concerns - including the number of patients kept in expensive acute hospital beds when they should be at home or in care. There is a crisis in our NHS and social care and we need urgent action now."
"Overall this budget is further evidence of the need for radical reform. The Conservative Party's repeated cuts to care and underfunding of the NHS have brought us to the point where many people only receive help when they are at crisis point. It will take more than gambling on an Essex lottery to solve the problem."
A key point of the Leader of Council's speech was his announcement of the launch of an Essex lottery later this year.
Chelmsford West County Councillor Jude Deakin spoke powerfully about her father's experience of waiting to be discharged from hospital because of delays in arranging care.
Chelmsford North Lib Dem Councillor Stephen Robinson spoke out in particular for the need to upgrade Essex's creaking infrastructure - road and paths maintenance, plus new transport links and schools.
The Liberal Democrat proposals in full
Tackling the crisis in the NHS and social care
Create a new Social Care Pressures earmarked reserve of £2.5m, subject to reducing the Transformation reserve by an equivalent amount. This can be drawn on to match fund joint initiatives with the NHS and care providers to speed the discharge of patients from hospital and increase the supply of urgently needed care outside hospital.
Supporting Essex's young people
An increase of £350,000 in the budget provision for Youth Services (Education and Lifelong Learning portfolio) for the provision of youth service projects including support, mentoring and respite for young carers and school lunchtime clubs/drop in sessions run by youth workers. The increase is to be funded by a withdrawal from the Innovation Reserve in 2017/18 and thereafter added to the Medium Term Resources Strategy
An increase of £86,000 in the budget provision for Passenger Transport (Highways and Transport portfolio) to continue transitional support for students in Uttlesford who are not entitled to free Home to School Transport. The increase to be financed by a withdrawal from the Transformation Reserve in 2017/18
Investing in our infrastructure and keeping Essex safe
An increase in the 2017/18 capital programme provision for Local Highways Panels (Highways and Transport portfolio) of £4m. This will be allocated to individual panels, to return their total funding to the 2015/16 level (i.e. to £8m).
In addition, increase the 2017/18 capital programme provision for Local Highways Panels (Highways and Transport portfolio) by a further £2m to support more significant schemes proposed by the panels.
The additional £6m referred to above will be funded by a transfer from the capital programme provision for Highways Infrastructure.
Reducing fly tipping
An increase of £250,000 in the budget provision for Waste Disposal (Environment and Waste portfolio) to enable all Civic Amenity Sites once again to accept residents' DIY waste. This increase is to be funded from the Transformation Reserve in 2017/18 and thereafter added to the Medium Term Resources Strategy