‘I’ll fight those who threaten our county’

Coun­cil leader makes pledge in new year mes­sage

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

THE leader of Bucks County Coun­cil has said he is ‘de­ter­mined to fight’ those who threaten the county.

In his new year mes­sage, Martin Tett ad­dressed Ayles­bury Vale Dis­trict Coun­cil’s an­nounce­ment that it is con­sid­er­ing be­com­ing a uni­tary au­thor­ity. He has al­ready shared his anger at the plans, say­ing the county was not con­sulted on them.

He said: “I am de­ter­mined to fight those who threaten our county, our coun­try­side, our pros­per­ity and our fan­tas­tic ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. I hope I have your support in do­ing so.”

Mr Tett also spoke of the need to make nearly

Bucks County Coun­cil leader Martin Tett £50mil­lion in spend­ing re­duc­tions, as well as the pres­sures on the bud­get due to cuts in the county’s fund­ing.

He added that de­spite this fi­nan­cial chal­lenge, it spent more than £20m on restor­ing roads last year and plans to spend another £25m next year.

He added there are still chal­lenges, with £12m be­ing cut from the county’s fund­ing from gov­ern­ment.

He said: “As a re­sult of this and the need to fund the ser­vices for our grow­ing el­derly pop­u­la­tion and pro­vide new school places for the many new young peo­ple in the county, we will have to make nearly £50m of spend­ing re­duc­tions.

“We have al­ready had to take some tough and, at times, un­pop­u­lar de­ci­sions such as in­creas­ing costs for home to school trans­port and in­tro­duc­ing park­ing charges.”

He also ad­mit­ted some changes had not gone ‘as planned’, like grass cut­ting be­com­ing less fre­quent.

He said: “This was not well done and I apol­o­gise for this.

“How­ever, most of our sav­ings con­tinue to be in the coun­cil’s own back of­fice as we pri­ori­tise front line ser­vices, par­tic­u­larly to the most vul­ner­a­ble.”

Mr Tett also men­tioned the re­cent an­nounce­ment that Bucks would be work­ing with Ox­ford­shire and Northamp­ton­shire.

He said this had been prompted by con­cerns over ‘ur­ban sprawl’ and to al­low the county to com­pete for gov­ern­ment fund­ing with big ci­ties like Manch­ester.

We have al­ready had to

take some tough and, at times, un­pop­u­lar

de­ci­sions”

DE­TER­MINED:

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