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Cornwall Warned: "We Have To Make Big Cuts"
[Not yet published]
Cornwall is being warned to brace for more cuts.
The council fears it will have to save another one hundred million pounds in the next five years.
It admits that means some frontline services will be hit - and some could disappear completely.
Now it is asking us where the axe should fall and how it can make money.
Julie from Callington found herself sleeping rough on the street after the end of the EMA meant she had to drop out of college. She said: "Nothing - I got no financial help. I couldn't afford to eat, let alone stay anywhere. They've got housing in Callington but it took literally months to arrange it. I couldn't believe it. Shocking.
"I had to leave college because I couldn't afford it. They cut out EMA and everything. I was getting it and it wasn't even covering my bus fare. Then they said I couldn't get a bus pass because I would have to pay for it. My mum's a lollipop lady - she can't afford that."
Alex Folkes from County Hall admitted to Pirate FM: "We may well have to cancel some services altogether. I don't want the people of Cornwall to be under any illusions - we are going to have to make some big cuts.
"I would love to be able to make these savings by cutting administration and bureaucracy but, pretty much, we've done that already.
"We want to concentrate on understanding what it is people in Cornwall want us to concentrate on positively doing and preserving that as much as possible.
"If we don't think seriously about making big changes, we're not going to have much of a budget left to do anything."
Stuart Cullimore from Cornwall Anti Cuts Alliance said: "I would urge people to look at these [proposals] and when they look at them, look at them with their hearts and see how we can protect the most vulnerable people in the community. Because, after all, as a society we should be judged on how we care for people less able to care for themselves.
"We have recently had a government which has actually given tax cuts to millionaires by lowering the top rate of income tax and, at the same time, imposing swingeing and vindictive cuts onto the people least able to fend for themselves."
The Council is staging a series of consultation events to find out the views of members of the public as well as voluntary and community groups during September and October.
The public meetings, all of which will begin at 6.30 pm, are being held at:
Thursday, 5 September St Austell One Stop Shop
Friday, 6 September Perranzabuloe Parish Rooms
Monday, 9 September Alexander Hall, St Blazey
Wednesday, 11 September Launceston Town Hall
Thursday, 12 September Shire House Suite, Bodmin
Friday, 13 September Wadebridge Council Offices
Monday, 16 September St Pinnock Village Hall, near Liskeard
Tuesday, 17 September Pool Innovation Centre
Thursday, 19 September St John’s Hall, Penzance
Friday, 20 September Helston Town Hall
Monday, 23 September Roche Victory Hall
Wednesday, 25 September St Germans Community Centre
Friday, 27 September Millennium House, Pensilva
Monday, 30 September Newquay Treviglas Community College
Wednesday, 2 October Falcon Hotel, Bude
Thursday, 3 October Mabe Village Hall
Friday, 4 October Council Chamber, County Hall, Truro
Monday 7 October Frank Johns Centre, Hayle
Wednesday, 9 October Clease Hall, Camelford
The authority will also be launching "YouChoose", an online budget simulator, on its website during October which will give people the opportunity to try and balance the budget for themselves.
The results of the consultation will be fed back to the Cabinet and the Council’s Portfolio Advisory Committees to consider before the budget is finalised.
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