Stoke-on-Trent City Council leaders defend use of £15m reserve funds

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Stoke-on-Trent City Council leaders have defended their decision to use £15 million from reserve funds to avoid making cuts.

They say the reserves should have been used by the previous authority.

City Council Leader Dave Conway  (City Independents) said that he hopes the latest budget reflects the hard work of the coalition and shows the people of Stoke that the council ‘care about them’.

Cllr Conway on the latest budget.

Since the start of the year, the council have had a £121 million reserve fund at their disposal.

Despite this, cuts have been made to various public services such as nursing homes, libraries and swimming pools.

Cllr Conway criticised the previous Labour-run administration for not using the reserve fund earlier.

He said he would have avoided previous cuts by using the fund, had he been in power.

Cllr Conway on why he didn’t use reserves earlier in the year.

Concerns have been raised about the long term impact of using the reserve fund.

Shortly after the announcement, Stoke-on-Trent Labour leader Mohammed Pervez voiced his concerns on Twitter, accusing the council of  ‘raiding reserves’.

Other critics have called the plans unrealistic and questioned the council’s long term strategy.

 

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