Tories condemn youth services and Chipping Sodbury library

The ruling Tories on South Gloucestershire refused to save youth service funding and Chipping Sodbury library, even when offered the money to do so.


More money was made available from government funds, and the Liberal Democrats proposed using it to protect youth services and keep Chipping Sodbury library open for another year as a “satellite” service. In that time, the community, and the District and Town councils could have looked at longer term solutions.


Instead, the Tories funnelled the cash into a 50p a month tax break for houses with big gardens.


Liberal Democrat Councillor Claire Young said: “The Conservative choice is very revealing. It says that they think giving a minority of people a reduction of just 50p per month on their green bin charge – less than the price of a bar of chocolate – is more important than a whole string of other options, including saving youth services or Chipping Sodbury library.”


The Liberal Democrat amendment proposed maintaining the Positive Activities Fund at the current level, instead of the quarter million pound cuts proposed by the Tories. The youth fund will be cut for each of the next three years, meaning fewer sessions and activities for young people across South Gloucestershire.


Cllr Clare Fardell said: “Not one resident has contacted me to complain about the cost of the green bin collections since it was introduced. Most people won’t notice a 50p a month cut, some may feel aggrieved the fee still largely exists. I tell you they will notice the cuts to their youth services.”


Cllr Ian Blair, the Lib Dem spokesperson for Young People, said, “I’m aghast that the Tories would prioritise green bins for the few over youth services for everyone.”


The Liberal Democrats also proposed keeping Chipping Sodbury library open for a further year. Cllr Young added, “We gave the Tories a chance to rethink closing Chipping Sodbury library. Local residents should demand from their Tory councillor why they refused to do it.”

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