We all want our councils to be as efficient as possible.
Nobody is arguing against genuine savings, where unnecessary action is cut out, or where important services are delivered at a lower cost.
But where cuts are depriving people of services they need, and where the council loses its ability to prevent problems from becoming worse, then surely we need to stand up for the public services which make civilised life possible in Suffolk.
In many cases, people are not going to get a second chance – this is life, not just a rehearsal.
Our children and young people are not going to be able to go back to school again in five years’ time if, and when, the education system has got back to a decent level.
People struggling with incapacitated relatives are not going to get back the years they have spent without proper support.
Families in crisis will not be able to undo the misery they may suffer as a result of cuts to organisations such as Lighthouse Women’s Aid.
Sometimes, listening to Conservatives at Suffolk County Council, I get the impression they think of it as some sort of hedge fund.
We recognise the need to keep spending within limits. But when the county council has around £150million in reserves, and has added £6million to the contingency reserve over the last year, surely the best investment is in the lives of the residents of Suffolk, which is what the council is meant to be for, and not squirrelled away in tobacco-company shares.
Labour group leader
Suffolk County Council