Fear for the financial security of SCDC under its new administration

Cllr Peter Topping, the opposition leader on South Cambridgeshire District Council, has this to say about the new Liberal Democrat administration at SCDC: "The financial security of the council could be put at risk by the new regime.

“The Conservatives left the council in good financial shape – the new Liberal Democrat administration, now in control, did not even bother to put together a budget for the coming year, so they will have to use the Conservative one.  It will keep them afloat for this year at least.  Next year though, they will need to set their own budget – their first one in the history of the Council. That's a worry."

SCDC's successful housing company to be axed?
"Last year, the Council’s Ermine Street housing company, which was continuously attacked by the Liberal Democrats, generated £1.4m going into frontline council services," he said.

"My fear is the new leader of SCDC, Cllr Bridget Smith, will axe Ermine Street leading to savage cuts to frontline services such as street sweeping or homelessness support officers – or Council Tax hikes.

“We have a proud record on affordable housing," he said.  "Despite the Liberal Democrats' criticism of the Council’s past record, affordable houses are already being built in South Cambridgeshire, including making good use of the money secured from the government under the devolution deal."

Over 3,000 affordable homes already planned
"In fact, plans to build 588 affordable houses were signed off in the last year alone, using funds from the Combined Authority," Peter said.  "That's on top of the affordable housing being built by developers – in all, well over 3,000 affordable homes are planned across the district thanks to our policies.  The Council delivered on its target of 40% of new developments being affordable homes last year.

"We left the Council with a a five-year land supply, fiscal security, and affordable houses from the Combined Authority."

Simon Edwards, the Finance and Staffing Portfolio Holder under the Conservative administration, added "SCDC's social housing record was infinitely better than when the Council was last led by the Lib Dems, who didn't build any new councils houses.

"We introduced the first new build programme for decades with new council houses in Swavesey, Foxton and Linton and another 31 in build with plans for a further 30 already settled."

Constructive opposition
Outlining his approach to opposition, Peter Topping said: “Where the Liberal Democrat administration comes up with a sensible proposal, then we as the opposition may well support it, and welcome it.  We will not oppose for the sake of opposition.  But we will hold them to account.

"As Conservatives we plan to win back residents’ confidence.  Like a tree after a hard winter pruning, we will come back stronger.”


Peter Topping

District Councillor, Whittlesford Ward

01223 834 905 / 07825 876 582
Peter Topping


South Cambridgeshire Conservative Association

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