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Fears £4 Million Cuts Could Be Made If York Joins With West Yorkshire

York Council 010513

6:42am 18th December 2013

There are fears cuts of four million pounds will have to be made in York, if the city partners up with West Yorkshire.

Opposition Lib Dems say services could be cut if the city council joins a super-council with West Yorkshire authorities.

The city council says the partnership would bring in 83-million for possible transport improvements.

Cllr Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Group Leader on City of York Council said:

“There are a number of unanswered questions over Labour’s plans for York to join the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. These include what guaranteed voting rights York will have, why this decision has been taken without any public consultation, and how Labour will ensure York’s voice is not lost amongst other councils with which we do not share geographical boundaries.

“The most pressing issue is the confirmation that Labour have no financial plan in place to cover York’s £4million-a-year contribution. The answer they gave last week did however confirm that they have not ruled out taking money from services such as road maintenance, social care and children’s services.

“Given the cuts that Labour have already made to frontline services to fund vanity projects such as the Arts Barge and the King’s Square redevelopment, it is alarming that as a consequence of joining the new super authority further services for residents could now be under threat.”

James Alexander, Leader of the City of York Council said:

“The cross-party Combined Authority gives us a unique opportunity to secure £83m to upgrade York’s outer ring road using devolved transport funding and powers from London to Yorkshire. I am at a loss as to why York’s Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition are against this Government flagship policy, instead preferring decisions to remain being made in London.

“I said at our last meeting of Full Council York has voting rights on the cross-party Shadow Combined Authority and this would continue if we become full members.

“It is a bit rich for York Liberal Democrats to talk about cuts when all councils are having to implement cuts due to large Government funding reductions from a Tory Government propped up by the very same Liberal Democrats.”

“I wish our Conservative and Liberal Democrat opposition would lift their heads out of the sand in which they are buried and realise the future for councils is working in partnership and not an outdated form of isolationism.”

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