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Warning over threat to Worcestershire services sparks row
LOCAL services could be lost unless people volunteer to deliver them a Wyre Forest member of Worcestershire County Council’s cabinet has warned.
That has sparked anger from opposition parties, with one opponent labeling the scheme “hype”.
Conservative councillor John Campion, member for localism and communities, made the comment as the county council launched its public consultation on localism - Think Local.
He said: “Given the significant budget pressures we are faced with, we have to be clear that unless local people or organisations put up their hands and take responsibility for some services, they could stop.
“Think Local is our vision for how localism could work in Worcestershire and is further evidence of our flexible approach to how services and assets could be run.”
Labour Parliamentary Spokesman, Wyre Forest District councillor, Howard Martin, said: “They should not expect people to pay the same council tax if they are cutting services and asking people to do it themselves.
“We will be looking very, very hard at the consultation to ensure the public are not being conned by the council into providing services they are no longer willing to fund.”
Independent Community and Health Concern Parliamentary spokesman, district councillor Graham Ballinger, said: “People see this as a way of diverting attention from cuts to services.
“People already take pride in their communities in Wyre Forest. Localism is just another gimmicky name for something which is already happening and people should not feel obliged to take part in the Tory hype.”
Liberal county and district councillor Fran Oborski, champion for Wyre Forest on the council’s localism member advisory group, said there were things communities could do for themselves.
She added: “We cannot, however, expect communities to do things that are the statutory responsibility of any local authority.”
Think Local asks residents to comment on willingness to deliver more local services themselves and sets out ways the council could help people take on additional responsibilities.
Mr Campion said: “It is easy for the opposition to say it is cuts but we have been very open and are giving people the opportunity to have their say.”
For more information, visit worcestershire.gov.uk/thinklocal