Police called to Sefton Council after angry cuts protestBy John Ramos
Police were called to Sefton Council last night after the budget meeting was delayed by an angry group of protestors.
Up to thirty local residents disrupted the budget meeting for over an hour as they protested against council plans to make savings of over fifty million pounds during the next two years. The protestors chanted slogans during the demonstration shouting shame on you towards the local councillors.
The council was forced to move out of the elected chamber and move to a room upstairs while the police dealt with the protest. There were no arrests and the protest ended peacefully.
The local residents called on the ruling Labour group to scrap the cuts and stand up to the coalition government.
But the council passed the budget by 36 votes to 30. It means the authority will now make savings of over fifty million pounds during the next two years in order to balance its books. This is on top of previous savings of 64 million pounds.
Several services will be cut as part of the plans including proposals to shut seven libraries unless an alternative can be found. Opposition groups are suggesting volunteers could be used to save the libraries.
The council also approved plans to increase the cost of burials and cremations in the borough by £150.
The council leader Peter Dowd says he's doing everything possible to make the cuts as fair as possible given the financial constraints. He stresses that the authority has a legal duty to set a balanced budget in order to avoid Whitehall interference.