Speaking at Leicestershire County Council Leader of the Liberal Democrat opposition Councillor Michael Mullaney said:
" The Liberal Democrat opposition continue to be concerned about the County Council's Financial situation. Whilst it's clear that some things are causing it beyond the Council's control, Ukraine conflict and Covid, the reality is some things that are controllable have contributed to the current situation.
"The weakening of the national finances after the calamitous Conservative mini budget under Liz Truss has certainly contributed and even more is the fact that we in Leicestershire continue to be the worst funded county in the country by this Tory government. How many years have we waited for fair funding from the Tory government, many and now we hear the Leicestershire Tory MPs are meeting Jeremy Hunt the Chancellor. I wish them well but if this is like every one of the previous meetings it will lead to no change and Leicestershire still losing out.
"The County Councils poor financial situation will mean Council Tax rises for residents and cuts to local service cuts at times which are already hard for many people. What will these cuts mean? It will mean very likely cuts to highways budgets which will mean the further deterioration of roads and pavements. How often do we report badly damaged roads and pavements to the County Council to be told they can't be resurfaced or repaired or if they are repaired it's a basic patch work that soon breaks up again? How many of our residents are frustrated about this many of them. What will happen in future it will get even worse.
"Special Education Needs services are already overstretched how much worse may they get if hit by cuts?
"Public transport, the county council subsidises a number of bus services, particularly in rural areas of the County these may be lost.
"Who do we hold responsible for the fact that Leicestershire is the worst funded county in the country?
"Do we blame the government for their unfair funding formula which hits Leicestershire?
"Do we blame Leicestershire's 7 MPs for failing to strongly enough stand up for the area in the same way in which Red Wall Tory MPs in the North of England have got plenty of resources for their areas?
"Or do we blame the leadership of this county council for failing to convince the government?
"People will differ in the proportion of the blame and culpability which they give to each of those groups. Who of these three differing groups are to blame for Leicestershire being at the bottom of the league for service funding?
"They are three different groups but they all have one similar characteristic.
"Conservative, Conservative, Conservative
"We have a Conservative only government since 2015, all 7 Leicestershire MPs have been Conservative since 2010 and we've had a Conservative run county council since 2001.
"Whoever is to blame for Leicestershire losing out somewhere down the line it's the Conservatives for taking us for granted.
"Will this ever change. Will the people of Leicestershire get the fair funding they deserve and the quality services they deserve?"It seems the only way of getting a better deal from the Conservatives is to change how you vote. The red wall areas started voting Conservative so got extra support from the Conservative government.
"Clearly the only way for Leicestershire to get more funding from a Conservative government that takes them for granted is for Leicestershire to stop voting Conservative the shock of which will wake the tory government out of its complacency and make it realise it needs to fund Leicestershire fairly."
A Hinckley County Councillor has renewed calls for a safe road crossing to be installed near a Hinckley School.
Lib Dem Councillor for Hinckley De Montfort Michael Mullaney has campaigned with local parents, residents and fellow Hinckley Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray to get a safe crossing near St Peter’s School on London Road, Hinckley.
This follows news that Leicestershire County Council have again decided against putting a crossing there.
In a written submission to the County Council’s Highways and Transport Scrutiny Committee Michael Mullaney set out why a crossing was still needed there
“A huge number of residents in the area I represent on the County Council and the area my two fellow Hinckley County Councillors David Bill and Stuart Bray represent support a safe crossing at St Peter’s School on London Road in Hinckley. 8,850 residents signed a petition supporting the campaign.
“There are safety concerns, there have been a number of near misses involving pupils and parents going to the school. Although not recorded it is believed that there was an accident leading to a fatality some years ago along this part of London Road when a pedestrian was knocked over.
“Whilst I appreciate the extra road safety measures that are proposed for London Road near St Peter’s School I am extremely disappointed that the request for a safe road crossing has not been supported in the report.
“There is widespread support for it and Cllrs Bill, Bray and myself identified funding for putting a crossing in at the site through the Members Highway Fund, a fund which was developed with the apparent intention of supporting Highways causes that were important in Councillor’s local areas.
“Whilst it’s welcome that a crossing person has been recruited for St Peter’s School there is always the risk that the person may step down from the job and it may be difficult to find a new person (as it took some years to recruit a crossing person there, with no school crossing patrol between 2017 and 2022 despite attempts to recruit to the post). A safe pedestrian crossing at the site however would be a permanent safety measure that would benefit pupils and parents and residents more generally crossing the road there.
“Whilst I welcome the fact there will be some safety improvements at the site I and many residents believe there still needs to be a safe permanent crossing at St Peter’s School. I therefore urge the County Council to rethink and agree to installing a crossing near St Peter’s School”