Tory-run North Yorkshire council have blocked a Labour motion that has called cuts to transport for Children and Adults, ‘Fundamentally wrong.’
TPN can reveal that North Yorkshire council spent over £1600 on a dinner for 72 councillors. Just a short time after announcing that all children over the age of 16 with special needs and disabilities will have to start paying for public transport. The dinner was fully funded by the taxpayer.
A Freedom of Information Act has revealed they gorged on pavlova, roast beef, salmon and other fine foods.
Cuts to the region had previously resulted in libraries closing, streetlights being turned off and a reduction in bus services.
Council tax was also increased prior to this meal and Labour’s attempt to block the axing of certain transport benefits for the disabled were blocked by a Tory majority.
Labour Cllr Tony Randerson said:
“In these times of austerity foisted upon us by this out of touch and uncaring government, it is imperative that every opportunity to ensure rate payers cash is ploughed back into the savaged front line services.
The Conservatives overwhelmingly control the council with 53 out of the 72 seats. 10 independents also sit on the council and the Liberal Democrats and Labour Party both have 4 councillors each. Some councillors did not attend the meal and Labour have committed to not partaking in such meals any longer.
To date, £140m has been cut from the council’s budget.
The Tory council laid the blame for the cuts squarely on the central government stating austerity was strangling their ability to provide frontline services. County councillor Janet Sanderson in a statement said
“We are entering our eighth year of austerity and the decisions we have to take to meet financial challenges ahead get harder. We have scoured the children and young people’s budget to see what alternative measures could be made but we are down to the toughest areas to make necessary savings.
The leader of the council defended the meal stating the council only meets 4 times a year and these are the only times they are provided with a meal.