Monday, 7 March 2011

Letter to KM on Big Society / MBC Cuts

Dear Editor,

Jenny Watts is right to question the 'Big Society' in last week's KM, especially in the week that Maidstone Borough Council became the latest council to announce cuts and Maidstone's C&H Fabrics shop closed.

Cameron seems to want more volunteering but voluntary organisations are estimating a loss of £4.6 billion over 4 years as a likely impact of national and local government cuts. This £4.6 billion loss compares with about £600-700 million devoted to the 'Big Society' by the Government including recent additions to compensate charities for imminent losses of income. Since volunteers need to be coordinated by trained, paid workers, the whole voluntary sector faces a rapid loss of resources which will undermine its capacity to support volunteers.

Maidstone Borough Council may have cut £2m from its budget, but we must remember that £2m of cuts will mean around 100 people will lose their jobs. We think this is unacceptable and will be another direct blow to Maidstone's economy, not to mention the devastating impact on these workers' families.

The Conservative / LibDem economic plans seem to be predicated on trying to grow the economy by making people redundant and getting them to work for free - possibly the most ridiculous economic plan in history.

Yours sincerely

Stuart Jeffery
Maidstone Green Party

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