Lynne Featherstone

MP for Hornsey and Wood Green

my blog
Lynne's Parliament and Haringey Diary, established 2003

Labour Haringey vote to close day centres, cut youth services and voluntary sector funding

Reports of the Budget meeting of Haringey Council from Thursday show Labour in their true light – clapping and cheering as they cut youth services and day centres.

Labour voted to close older people’s day centres, cut youth services by £2 million (75%) and slash budgets for the voluntary sector. The Labour group rejected my Liberal Democrat colleagues’ alternative plans to further reduce the Council’s bureaucracy which would have saved day centres and reduced the effect of cuts on youth services, the voluntary sector and projects to tackle crime and unemployment.

Yes – cuts have to be made – by councils up and down this country. There is no money – thanks to Labour, the banks and a general buy now pay later – personal debt mountain.

However, where the cuts are made here in Haringey is entirely down to Labour – and this was their choice. There were very, very good alternatives put forward by the LibDem group which would have saved these very vulnerable services – but they were totally ignored by Labour.

This is from the news release sent out following the meeting:

Labour councillors cheered and applauded cuts to youth and older people’s services after they voted down opposition budget proposals to these protect front line services.

Labour also ignored the powerful last minute pleas by Haringey’s young people who were present at the meeting to ask Labour councillors why they were being targeted with 75% cuts when the Council’s overall budget faces a funding reduction of 13%.

Cllr Robert Gorrie, Haringey Liberal Democrat Leader, comments:
“I was shocked by the actions of a minority of protesters last night but what angered me more was the behaviour of the Labour group.

“They say they care about front line services and vulnerable residents, yet when faced with alternative proposals which would save some services for our older residents, help mitigate the cuts to youth centres, the voluntary sector and projects to tackle crime and unemployment, they reject them.

“Labour is more worried about playing the blame game of national politics rather than making the right choices Haringey’s residents.”

The plans to reverse Labour’s closure of older people’s day centres, drop-in centres and luncheon clubs which were part of the Liberal Democrat’s alternative budget proposals were contained in five amendments.

Liberal Democrats set out their choices for spending priorities which would protect older people’s services, invest in the youth service, support action on crime, and help to develop the voluntary sector and job creation.

Liberal Democrats were crystal clear that Labour were making the wrong decisions targeting front-line services for cuts and, proposed instead, new savings in IT, management, and communications.

The position faced by Haringey was obviously made worse by Labour’s home-made financial crisis in their financial management of Haringey. A £10 million overspend during the course of the current year, £20 million of cost increases forecast for next year, the failure to deal with waste sooner, the ongoing impact from the £37 million frozen in Icelandic Banks all add up to put Haringey in a worse situation to deal with the funding reductions.

Cllr Robert Gorrie, Haringey Liberal Democrat Leader and Resources Spokesperson, comments:

“Haringey Labour’s home-made financial crisis compounds the mess made by their Labour colleagues nationally when they were in government

“We believe that there is an alternative to Labour’s decision to close older people’s day centres, cut youth services by 75%, and cut funding for action on crime and job creation.

“More savings can be made on the £16.5 million spent on IT, the £20 million spent on senior management, the £1.5 million spent on communications, and the £3 million spent on policy and performance. Yet Labour have instead made the choice to shut day centres and cut youth services by 75%.”

To read the Liberal Democrats’ alternative budget proposals please click here.

Sat 26 February 2011
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Comments

  1. Ellen Rigby says:

    You can fool some idiots but most of us KNOW that you are propping up a Government bent on implementing its ideology and targeting the poorest Councils, usually Labour controlled. Don’t try and blame Labour for your disgraceful self-interest. You should be ashamed. I hope you get slaughtered in the next Election but then you still won’t be the one to suffer from your deceit. Maybe a nice seat in the Lords or that rather lovely pension that WE will pay for.

    You and the rest of your government colleagues disgust me.

  2. Paul says:

    You know, if you were to tax the banks their due these cuts that you are forcing on councils wouldn’t even be necessary. I’m betting if they decided to save these services, they’d have to cut something else and you’d decry those cuts instead.

    I have an idea, instead of bogging yourself down in petty tribal politics you actually go out and do the job you were elected to do, because having read that I’m not impressed.

  3. Sparky says:

    Seriously, your government forces through cuts that will disproportionately hurt the poorest and most vulnerable and then you blame the councils having to deal with those cuts?

    I used to be a Lib Dem supporter – but increasingly I think never ever again. Not until the current crop are gone

  4. James Atkinson says:

    Lynne,

    You are beneath contempt – again.

  5. Adam says:

    Risible.

  6. Helen says:

    Risible indeed – and let’s add fraudulent. I was intrigued to see that Lynne refers to an unattributed ‘news release’ which offers up the ‘fact’ that Labour Party members cheered and clapped as they closed youth services. Now if that had really happened it would indeed be news – but it hasn’t featured in the local press, on local websites or in the TV coverage of the Budget meeting. So I had a look around to see if I could find the ‘news release.’ And here it is – http://www.haringeylibdems.org/ – on the website of the Haringey Lib Dems. First Lynne and co made it up and then they quoted it….
    Disgraceful behavior and a sacking offence in normal workplace situations.

  7. Bob says:

    These are your cuts – this attempt to spin them otherwise is lying.

    I see there is no hope for you, you are a right-wing Tory now.

  8. Joseph says:

    What Labour did here was unacceptable and a heinous attack on the young of North London. Yet we also know that you, Lynne Featherstone, are also a disgrace! You and your government are the cause of these cuts, and in fact Labour’s implementation here must please you considerably given your new voting record of attacking the young & vulnerable from Whitehall!

    Lynne Featherstone would be a joke if it wasn’t for the fact she is complicit in the sacrifice of the youth, the poor and the vulnerable for the sake of the rich.

    Shame on you for turning blue! Resign today!

  9. Recall Lynne Featherstone MP says:

    It’s not too late to sign the petition demanding the recall of Lynne Featherstone MP on the grounds that she does not represent this constituency. If you’ve not already signed and you are a resident of Hornsey and Wood Green constituency, please go to:

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/recallfeatherstonemp/

  10. A visitor says:

    The nerve of the woman – like the girl who killed both her parents and asked for compassion as she was an orphan- Lynne hangs out with the rightwingers who are using the crisis their banker have created to drive through unnecessary cuts to the common weal at national and local level. And then blames those who have to implemnt the cuts she voted for?

    Even the Governor of the Bank of England is to the left of Lynne Featherweight, these days

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