Portsmouth City Council opposition leader speaks out against ‘terrible cuts’

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THE leader of Portsmouth’s Lib Dem group has raised concerns over the proposed budget’s effect on the most vulnerable in society.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said he is particularly worried about the health and social care portfolio changes.

They include the switching of substance misuse, sexual health and alcohol harm services to help other activities to continue and save hundreds of thousands of pounds.

‘Cuts are being made to the most vulnerable in society,’ he said. ‘Huge cuts are being made to social services and the elderly. These are terrible, terrible cuts going forward and we will go away to come up with a fairer budget.’

Meanwhile, the council has proposed forming a ‘clean city team’ through merging the work of community wardens, its enforcement team and estate services officers, who look after council assets.

The team would be to tackle environmental and anti-social issues, though merging services will mean some job cuts.

It’s expected to save £389,800 next year, and £297,300 in the two years after. Cllr Luke Stubbs, deputy leader of the council, said: ‘It just isn’t possible to save this level of money without some pain.’