When Local Government Reorganisation was first considered, we were told that this was the best approach to cut costs and ensure that future Budgets were secure. Now we have been told that unless we have total reform within two years, Dorset will join the several other Counties that have been declared bankrupt.
Every year Children’s Services and Adult Services set a budget based on the previous year’s figures. Every year the numbers rise, the cost rises, the services are overspent and money has to be taken from other services.
Councillor Susan Jefferies says "It is time Dorset County set a realistic budget. The Lib Dems proposed an amendment at the Budget meeting that a sum of £5 million be taken from the large unused reserves held by the County and used as a ‘buffer’ to protect the Children’s Services Budget. However, the Tory Administration was unsympathetic and the Amendment, although supported by all the opposition parties, was defeated."
A group of parents of children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), came to the Council meeting to protest about the severe cuts to the part of the budget that protects their children, and the services that it provides. This portion is now much less than £0.5 million (£337,000) and totally inadequate for their needs. We are sorry that these people have been so let down by their council.