“My speech today is going to be shorter than in the previous two years mainly because you are finally doing what we said back in 2012.
“We will hear a lot of blame being dished out today but if you had implemented what we said two years ago the city finances would be over 1 million pounds better off than we are now.
“Delays cost money.
“In the case of Preston City Council your decision to delay will cost this council and the people of Preston jobs and services.
“The blame for that extra million pounds worth of pain and cutbacks is on your shoulders. Peter Rankin said last year he, and his cabinet, were tempted to walk away and leave it the other political parties to sort out. Unfortunately Peter if you had the city would be in a far better place.
“Even now you are pushing the vast majority of your cuts back a further year. Further delays costing the city even more money. We would bring them forward and save as many jobs and services as we can. Because we are bringing the cuts forward we can save the inner city litter picking team and provide a car parking subsidy to help out struggling businesses in the city centre.
“There is so little wiggle room now is this Council’s finances that we can find very few things to oppose in your budget.
“Prioritising monitoring of CCTV over PCSOs is definitely one. A report designed to highlight the virtues of CCTV still cannot give us a single crime that has been prevented because someone was monitoring. True crimes have been spotted and dealt with after the incident but our proposals will have no effect on that. Public responses clearly show that residents rate PCSOs as being more important to them than CCTV (let alone the monitoring of it).
“Another difference between the Lib Dem group and every other councillor (Eric Fazackerley excluded) in this chamber is protected position of Councillors. Once again, while every other department in this organisation is taking its share of the pain, the politicians protect themselves. Cut Councillors, save services. I’m guessing public opinion is on our side of that argument as well.
“A vote against our budget amendment, is a vote for more job cuts, fewer services and an ending of this council’s support of PCSOs. I urge you to support our amendment.”