Crisis talks potentially save £2.5million from Milton Keynes Council’s controversial budget cuts

Milton Keynes Council
Milton Keynes Council

Tough negotiations surrounding the council’s controversial budget cuts has potentially saved £2.5million for vital services.

Following six hours of intense talks in the council chamber last Wednesday, the Labour-led council was forced to hold an emergency meeting with the opposition after their budget proposal was rejected.

And since then, significant changes have been made to the final budget, which will be voted on by full council this evening.

Leader of the Lib Dems, Councillor Douglas McCall, who met with Labour group leader Pete Marland and Edith Bald, leader of the Conservative group in an attempt to “save the budget”, told the council his party plan to abstain from tonight’s vote.

He said: “I am pleased to say that following these talks £2.5million has been put back into the budget to restore many services, including £750K put back in for buses which will help stop people losing their jobs because they can’t get to work, £600K for homeless hostels to stop Labour throwing people out onto the streets.”

The Citizen previously revealed a parking crisis threatened to topple the council and kill off business in Central Milton Keynes. Since then, the council has proposed to postpone reducing the employee parking discount until 2016/17.

This is to allow a “long-term transport strategy” to be developed with business leaders and for additional parking spaces to be provided in agreed locations over the next 12 months.

There will also be money for voluntary organisations, luncheon clubs and parenting advice.

Mr McCall added: “I said last week that the Liberal Democrats would have constructed the budget completely differently to protect the most vulnerable.

“Although this is not a perfect budget, there has been enough movement since last week for the Lib Dems to abstain on the budget vote.”