Tony Walley interviews Roger Ibbs the Independent candidate for Moorcroft
There can be no doubt that the present government inherited an absolute mess made by Labour.
We all know that large reductions are needed.
What cannot be accepted is the way in which the Conservative & Lib Dem Government has supported their own areas and attacked Stoke-on-Trent by massive and disproportionate reductions.
An 8% reduction for Stoke and yet only 1.8% for Staffordshire cannot, by anyone’s view, be fair and that surely is what we should expect from a Government that is supposed to govern for the whole country and not just their friends in Tory or Lib Dem areas.
There can also be no doubt that our Labour led council has cut essential services and not looked deeply enough to cut out waste and inefficiency, which is so obvious to you all.
This year cuts of £ 35 Million have had to be made but next year another £ 20 Million has to be saved.
WHERE WILL THOSE CUTS FALL NEXT YEAR.
Children’s Centres (already cut by 30% ) will be prime targets to be cut altogether. Remember that this action was proposed by Labour this year.
Community Centres could be next.
More Bus routes to be closed ? Who knows but it is essential that you have experienced people there to make those decisions.
I believe these issues are vital to the City’s improvement.
QUALITY JOBS we are known as a low paid area with the associated poor quality jobs that go with it. High fliers have to leave the City in order to find suitable employment. The council need to try harder to attract the right sort of jobs.
ENTERPRISE ZONES it cannot be right that the new zones announced by the Government do not yet include our City. Every effort must be made to convince them that we need the assistance to business by reduced rates and tax breaks that will encourage business’s to come here.
EDUCATION STANDARDS although things have been improving, the improvement is too slow. If we do manage to bring new and better jobs here then we need a highly skilled and qualified workforce.
THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR it is obvious that the council will depend more and more on the voluntary sector to deliver many of our services. There can be no doubt that this sector delivers better £ for £ than the council can. It is time to give them more support NOT LESS
These elections will be the last for 4 years and so the decision you make will be vital for our City.