‘Tough decisions ahead’ over city’s finances, admits Labour leader

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The impact of cuts to the city’s services can be softened if the community works together, according to the leader of Milton Keynes Council.

On Friday, Councillor Pete Marland blamed funding cuts from the government on his decision to propose slashing library and young people’s services, and increase parking charges and bus fares.

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South

It follows the announcement that the council must save £22million in order to deliver the 2015/2016 budget and prepare to find a total of £70million in savings by 2020.

Mr Marland said: “We believe in a co-operative borough where we all have a part to play.

“We must all work together to ensure Milton Keynes remains an excellent place to live, despite government funding reductions.

“We need to stand together as a community to help us make the best judgements we can in what we know are very difficult circumstances for us all.”

But Conservative MP Iain Stewart says it is “predictable and depressing” that Milton Keynes’ Labour council are seeking to blame others for their financial problems.

Mr Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, said: “I am concerned that Labour’s proposals threaten many services and facilities that residents rely upon.

“Do they not recall the enormous hole in the nation’s finances that they left; or the note from their Treasury Minister saying “there is no money left”?

“The previous Conservative administration in Milton Keynes faced very similar budget pressures and managed to maintain financial control and deliver the services residents need and deserve, such as reversing previously planned library closures.”

> Mr Marland will be visiting neighbourhoods across Milton Keynes to discuss the “tough decisions” needed to make major savings.

Details of where the road show events will be held are below:

Wolverton Town Hall - Tuesday, December 9, 6.30–8pm

The Olney Centre – Thursday, December 18, 6.30-8pm

West Bletchley Parish Council Offices, Thursday, January 8, 6.30–8pm

Woughton Community Council Offices, Tuesday, January 13, 6.30–8pm

Oxley Park Community Centre, Thursday, January 22, 6.30-8pm

St Mary and St Giles Parish Hall, Stony Stratford, Thursday, January 29, 5.30-7pm