Somerset Lib Dems welcome “£500,000 win for County’s most vulnerable people”


Somerset Liberal Democrats have welcomed support from the County’s Conservatives for
funding – agreed in principle in today’s full Council meeting - for their proposal for £500,000
of preventative work to help the County’s most vulnerable people and reduce future Council
spending.

The Lib Dems are now calling for the creation of a cross-party working group to agree
precisely how best to spend the funds.

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On top of £500,000 that the Council had originally put aside for preventative work, The Lib
Dems tabled a proposal for a further £500,000 one-off amount for the next financial year
(starting April 2019) to be invested in:

  • Young Carers
  • People in receipt of Universal Credit
  • Students using a County bus pass

There was also cross-party support for the Lib Dems’ proposal for the Council to buy in
professional specialist expertise to advise on the speculative investments of up to
£100million of future borrowing designed to generate income.

“We presented our ideas on how to make good use of £500,000 additional ring-fenced
funds for preventative measures,” says Cllr Liz Leyshon, Opposition Spokesperson for
Resources. “It was clear that the Conservatives had no detailed plan – and, on that basis, we
pressed them to accept our priorities.

“Each of these measures would help the County reap significant benefits in the longer term,
assisting some of Somerset’s most vulnerable people – and saving Council Tax payers money
in the long run.

“I’d call that a victory for common sense. Now we look forward to working with members
from all parties on making sure the money is invested to the very best effect.”


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