MP slams county council for playing "political games' with Lancashire people over savage budget cuts

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans has slammed the closures set out by Lancashire County Council which include the axing of more than 20 libraries and th closure of around 100 buildings.

Speaking from Westminster, Mr Evans said: “I am appalled and disheartened that Lancashire County Council is playing political games with the people of Lancashire.

"While claiming these closures are as a result of reduced government funding, Lancashire County Council continues to sit on cash reserves totalling more than £300M, showing their rhetoric to be nothing more than political spinning."

Mr Evans also called for funding to be top sliced from county councils and to be given to borough councils, adding: “Lancashire County Council have decided to deprive residents of critical services, which they themselves are paying for through council tax.

"In these situations, where the county council has decided to ignore their responsibilities to provide services, I believe that money should be given to local councils, so they can provide the services that people need.”

Mr Evans also spoke about the way the county council has handled the matter along with the recent cutting of bus services, adding:

“The Labour lead administration refuse to listen to the overwhelming views of local people, showing them to be out of touch.

“In both this decision and the recent decision to cut the Sabden bus service, alternative budgets have been proposed by the Conservatives, which would have seen services being retained. The county council's refusal to listen to these ideas further shows them as an administration who are making political decisions, not rational ones”.

Lancashire County Council will make the final decision on service closures at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, September 8th.