John Harris

Journalist & Author

‘Lost for words’: Somerset cuts £28m of help for most vulnerable

Tory council latest casualty of drastic austerity measures imposed on local government

On Wednesday the eight-person cabinet of Somerset county council voted through £28m of spending cuts, spread over the next two years. Over the previous six months, speculation had raged about whether Somerset would become the next Conservative-run council to join Northamptonshire in effectively going bankrupt and to call in government commissioners to sort out its mess.

And here was the answer, delivered at not much more than a week’s notice. To avoid a final disastrous plunge into the red, there would be a hacking down of help for vulnerable families and children with special educational needs, youth services, road gritting, flood prevention and much more.

Related: Austerity kills: this week’s figures show its devastating toll | Owen Jones

What is austerity?

Related: Northamptonshire forced to pay the price of a reckless half-decade | Patrick Butler

Related: Austerity, outsourcing and English councils in crisis | Letters

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