Commenting, Cllr Daisy Benson, Liberal Democrat Group Leader and Lib Dem Housing Spokesperson said:
“Just months into their administration Labour are planning cuts to sheltered housing services which will hit some of the most vulnerable people in Reading.
“This will come as a nasty shock to many elderly people living in RBC sheltered housing as Labour kept their plans for sheltered housing hidden in the run up to the election.”
“Proposals including the number of support staff and support provided and making changes to night time services.’
“This is not about improving services it’s about saving money.”
“Labour councillors should rethink this decision.”
“We are urging tenants and families affected to respond to this consultation and for local residents to sign our petition to help fight this needless cut.’
“We think these cuts are wrong and totally unnecessary.
“Our top priority remains to protect the most vulnerable childrens and adults in Reading. We would not have made these cuts.’
At a meeting of Reading Borough Council’s Cabinet on 26 September, Cllr Daisy Benson, Lib Dem Group Leader urged Labour councillors to support plans to reform Business Rates to enable the Council to retain and spend a proportion of business rates.
Cllr Daisy Benson, Group Leader of Reading Liberal Democrats commented:-
“At the moment 100 % of business rates raised in Reading go back to Whitehall coffers and are spent elsewhere.”
“This reform would mean Reading Borough Council could keep a proportion of local Business rates, invest in Reading and help make it a better place for residents to live.”
“It will also give the Council a real incentive to drive economic growth locally- helping promote business and jobs.”
“The Council should get behind these reforms which will mean more taxes raised locally are spent locally”
Responding to the news that Reading Borough Council will be consulting residents about HMOs, Lib Dem Group Leader and Housing Spokesperson, Daisy Benson said:
“It’s positive to see the Labour administration continuing with the work the we started last year, following the scrutiny review I led in 2008 Reading’s private rented sector.”
“However, this move will do nothing to reduce the number of existing HMOs in Reading which in some streets outnumber the number of family homes.”
“Therefore the Council needs to continue to work with closely with landlords to ensure that residents living in areas with high-numbers of HMOs do not suffer from parking problems and waste-management issues.”
Speaking at a meeting of the Council’s Cabinet on 26 September Cllr Daisy Benson, Lib Dem Group Leader highlighted the fact that the Labour administration is banking on bus lane fines to get themselves out of a financial black hole.
Cabinet budget monitoring papers revealed yesterday that £575k is being budgeted from an increase in bus lane fines to plug the growing gap in Labour’s finances although officers acknowledge that this income ‘is not guaranteed.’
‘Four months since Labour took control of Reading Borough Council there is a growing black hole developing in the Council’s budget which Labour politicians plan to fill in part by fining unsuspecting motorists including visitors to Reading’
‘It is wrong to gamble services on people being forced to pay fines – this money shouldn’t be use to cover up bad budgeting.’
“Demand for services for vulnerable people is growing and the Council has a duty to provide for Reading’s neediest people not just now but in future years.”
‘We set a fair budget which protected services to vulnerable children and adults – these same services are now in peril due to Labour’s inability to manage a budget’