£109m Doncaster cuts budget set to be approved

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Mayor Ros Jones’ £109 million cuts budget looks set to be approved without opposition at a full council meeting today

Last month the Mayor laid out where the £109million of savings will be found over the next three years, detailing how 1,200 council staff will lose their jobs, as well as the closure of all council-run care homes and four day centres.

News of the budget has been met with opposition, with many residents staging protests against the proposed closures and plans to make eight further of the town’s libraries community managed.

But speaking to the Free Press, Conservative and Liberal Democrat Group Leaders, Yvonne Woodcock and Eric Tatton-Kelly, confirmed neither party will be looking to contest the budget when it comes before the borough’s councillors today.

Coun Woodcock said Labour’s ‘willy nilly spending over many, many years’ had led to financialproblems in Doncaster, adding that ‘cuts simply have to be made’.

She said: “We’re having to go along with it. There’s a lot of money that needs to be saved.”

Acting Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Coun Tatton Kelly said Labour’s majority meant opposing the budget would be a waste of time, but said he did not think there was a ‘realistic alternative’ to the budget. “I’m not totally happy with it, but it’s an incredibly difficult time,” he said. “It’s been said to me by a number of residents that they don’t agree with the care home closures, but the council ones are more expensive and would need a lot of money spent on them.”

Coun Tatton Kelly added: “Labour has been in control of Doncaster for generations and I have no problem if they have to make tough decisions.”