May 21 2013 Latest news:
By Paul Geater
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
SUFFOLK’S main opposition party will be urging the county to spend an extra £1.7million on children and young people at this week’s budget debate.
The Liberal Democrats have submitted an amendment to the county council budget meeting calling for extra money to be spent to improve poor exam results in the county.
They want the cash to be taken from the county’s reserves – which have grown in recent years despite the financial squeeze.
They want to spend just over £1.1m on more support for schools and teachers to help improve school results.
A further £300,000 would be spent on helping children in care and a further £300,000 on creating more 20mph speed limits near schools.
Deputy opposition leader John Field will be proposing the motion. He said: “The past eight years have seen the Conservatives fail to get to grips with education.
“We’ve slipped continuously down the league tables while they concentrate on destroying middle schools.
“They have struggled with providing adequate care to vulnerable children relying on expensive out-of-county placements that move the children far from their families.”
The motion is set to be opposed by the Conservative administration at Endeavour House.
County council deputy leader Jane Storey, who is responsible for the authority’s budget, said the administration was working on a number of initiatives to improve schools’ performance.
She said dipping into reserves was not the answer: “The money we have in reserves can only be spent once.
“The financial discipline we have imposed has enabled us to manage the budget – and our efforts have been well-regarded by the District Auditor. We shall not accept this amendment.”