1. Fixing our Council’s Finances
Somerset County Council under a Conservative Administration has mismanaged your money and brought the County to the brink of bankruptcy.
For the last 8 years, they have failed to deal with budget deficits. By slashing services to avoid asking each household for an extra 30p a week they have created a £25million hole in the Council's Budget and reduced Reserves to an all time low. Only last year did they realise the damage they had caused and raised Council Tax by the highest amount in the whole country.
You deserve better! Liberal Democrats will invest in services and use Council assets to generate income.
2. Employing our Own Staff
Liberal Democrats know that spending £52million over 4 years on agency staff is bad management.
Somerset County Council's workforce is one of its greatest assets. Liberal Democrats will make sure permanent jobs are offered instead of using agency staff and we will offer at least 100 apprenticeships to young people in the County.
We will make sure people are motivated, proud to work for Somerset County Council and are responsive to the public's needs.
We will work tirelessly to return Somerset to the 5 Star Authority it was under the Liberal Democrats.
3. Rebuilding our Children's Services
Since 2013 Somerset County Council's Children's Services have been rated as “Inadequate” by OFSTED.
The Tories have put our children at risk; their reliance on expensive agency staff means there is less to invest in supporting families and young people.
Liberal Democrats will address the 50% vacancy rate for permanent social workers. We will make Somerset a place where people want to come and work.
We will place much greater importance on Early Years help and making sure families can safely stay together.
4. Caring for Our Elderly
Somerset has an ageing population. We need to find better ways to deliver care to some of our most vulnerable residents than the current service provided by this Tory administration.
People want to stay safely in their own homes and communities for as long as possible.
The Liberal Democrats believe there is more work to be done to break down barriers between social care and the NHS. We will work with voluntary organisations and the private sector to create a new joined up service; we know we can do better.