Somerset County Council’s Press Office must be dizzy after all the spinning they’ve been doing on the issue of the proposed cuts to the Countryside and Flood Teams at the Council. They have been busily telling anyone who’ll listen that some extra money found at the last minute has enabled them to reverse some of the proposed cuts. Absolute rubbish. Despite positive indications by Council Leader John Osman on BBC Somerset a few weeks ago, I have not seen any changes to the cuts to countryside and flooding as a result of this cash. The only changes from the original cuts package are the reversal of the mistaken redundancy notices issued to the biodiversity and project officers (they’re still scheduled for the chop, just not ’til next year) and the saving of an ecologist’s post, whose fees are now going to be recharged to the District Councils. Under the current plans THERE WILL BE NO COUNTRYSIDE TEAM.
And on top of that, they are still proposing to cut the post of the flood project manager who has won over £7m in flood management funding for Somerset.
Don’t believe the spin. Despite the public telling the County Council that they wanted MORE investment in flooding and countryside management, they are in fact, slashing it. Somerset County Council Conservatives – Still Not Listening.
*Update. After much campaigning, Somerset County Council backed down on the plan to make the flood manager redundant. Pressure works.*