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Lib Dems Fight Gagging to Release Reserves

May 15, 2002 12:00 AM

Liberal Democrats on Bedford Borough Council were effectively gagged when they attempted to propose a change to the council's spending policy. The only way they were able to challenge the build up of council reserves was by raising a petition.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Michael Headley stated:

"The use of council reserves is a key issue but when we tried to debate it we were blocked from using normal procedures. It seemed ridiculous but our only opportunity to force the issue was through raising a petition."

The petition, which was signed by members of the Liberal Democrat Group, reiterated the Lib Dems desire to see funding moved away from councillors furniture and reserves, using it instead to fund front line services such as bus passes for all over 60's and improvements to the town centre.

Commenting on the petition Michael Headley said:

"We called for these proposals to be introduced during budget negotiations but the other groups voted against it. We think it is vitally important that money should urgently be spent on front line services, not on increasing comfort for Councillors or increasing bank balances. We are bringing this up again to allow the new council the chance to push these initiatives forward. We will continue to fight to see that the people of the Borough get the services they deserve."