PENDLE’S Labour Councillors are calling on council leader Joe Cooney to ‘come clean’ about which services he is planning to add charges to.
The Conservative Leader of the Council made a statement about Pendle’s finances and said that the budget was now so stretched that he was having to consider cutting jobs and adding charges to services to generate income.
But speaking yesterday, Labour councillor Mohammed Iqbal said: “We are absolutely opposed to any more redundancies as the council is already understaffed as it is.
“They have cut staffing levels at the council from 445 to 285 since 2010.
“The people of Pendle are suffering enough and cutting jobs and charging for services is only going to make things worse.
“The cuts to the local government budget are not Councillor Cooney’s fault.
“The coalition in central government are the ones enforcing this and we all know that this government is leaving Pendle in dire straights.
“But what Councillor Cooney needs to do is come clean. Come clean now and tell people what services exactly he is thinking of charging for.
“He sprung the green bin tax on us out of nowhere, there was no consultation and there’s been no consultation since and now people are paying £25 for their green bin collection.
“We can’t have that happen again. He needs to tell people exactly what he is thinking of charging for.”
The council have to save £1.2million this year, followed by £1m the year after and another £1m the year after that.
Whitefield Labour Party councillor Asjad Mahmood echoed Councillor Iqbal’s sentiments and said: “We’ve already been hit with cuts to services and people are struggling financially more than ever before.
“If the council is to start charging for services, it is those who are already in financial hardship that will suffer the most and it may tip others into reaching crisis point.”