Labour calls for public to have proper say over Portsmouth City Council cuts

Portsmouth council leader condemns Barcelona attack

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CALLS have been made for Portsmouth’s Tory-led council to consult the public over the upcoming budget.

Councillor Donna Jones, the authority’s Conservative leader, has revealed around £13m needs to be saved next year.

Political groups except the Lib Dems have pledged to work with the administration in order to come up with an agreed budget.

But Labour insists there can be no repeat of what they describe as ‘sham consultations’ held by the previous Lib Dem-operated council.

Cllr John Ferrett, Labour group leader, said: ‘There is now no overall control on the council. Therefore, a budget can only be delivered by parties working together.

‘Unfortunately, the Liberal Democrats have refused to work co-operatively and appear to be more interested in politics than delivering a fair budget for the people they claim to serve.’

Details of what cuts the council could make are due to be published soon.

Former Lib Dem deputy leader of the council, Cllr Hugh Mason, said: ‘We did consult. It’s impossible to consult all 200,000-plus residents of Portsmouth, but what we have always done is get as much information about people as possible.’

Speaking of next year’s budget, he said: ‘The whole thing is going to be a challenge.’