Warning: ‘Plaster move won’t stick’ says Milton Keynes councillor

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Council spending cuts could just be ‘sweeping problems under the carpet’ say Conservative critics.

Next year’s budget proposal has plans to save £500,000 by eliminating the use of bed and breakfast for the city’s homeless.

But this means those 
people will jump to the front of waiting list for council homes, a solution which has been slammed by Councillor Alice Bramall.

She said: “I fear the administration is trying to solve a problem with a plaster that needs a bandage.

“Everyone would agree that the elimination of use of B&B for emergency housing need in Milton Keynes would be fantastic, but if the answer was simple it would have been done previously.

“The council must be careful not to artificially improve figures by changing the rules for who qualifies for council housing or we will need hundreds more to be built.

“The Conservative administration was always honest and realistic with the public about this, and we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to really solving this problem, not just sweeping it under the carpet.”

There are also plans by the council to remove its subsidy from luncheon clubs and home-visiting in a bid to save money – although this does not mean the services will diminish as a result.

Ms Bramall, who chairman of the adult social care and health committee, a service which is facing almost £4million-worth of cuts.

The council also plans to save £200,000 by increasing the cost of ‘Blue Badge’ permits, which allow the disabled to use allocated parking spaces, from £2 to £10, and end the Handyperson service, which supports the elderly with DIY and minor repairs. Ms Bramall added: “The budget is proposing reductions in services and an increase in costs to vulnerable residents who need them the most. I hope Labour will reconsider.”

Council leader Pete Marland this week said the council faces “unprecedented challenges” with less money, but an increase in demand.

He said: “We know people value these services, but we believe that by working with communities to deliver services differently we can minimise the impact of our funding challenges.”