THE Cllr for South Petherton & Islemoor has addressed residents in South Somerset to explain the issues linked to Somerset Council’s “very serious financial situation”.

Cllr Adam Dance, who is also lead member for Public Health and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Yeovil, said: "With the very serious financial position of Somerset Council, it is vital we reach out to residents to explain the issues and seek their support with our approach.

“The council is pressing the Conservative Government for early and effective action to address the financial crisis brought upon Somerset in large part by the actions of the previous administration.

"Costs across the board have risen. We all know that from our household spending.

“But, the income of the council has remained static, and in some cases reduced, due to actions by the Tories both within Somerset and at Westminster.

"As Bill Revans said, 'Our overspend position is not because of poor control or oversight, nor policy decisions or legal action – it is simply an exceptionally large increase in our costs for demand-led services, set against our constrained ability to raise additional income.

‘The national model for funding social care is broken and we urgently need your support to ensure we can continue to care for those most in need.'

"In Somerset the previous Conservative Council leader and his colleagues froze Council Tax, which is capped, for six years which has deprived council services of over £200 million."

David Fothergill, leader of the opposition at Somerset Council, replied to Cllr Revans' letter here.

"Meanwhile their Conservative friends at Westminster continued to mismanage the economy by: “Their ludicrous handling of the national economy resulted in unprecedented hikes in interest rates which locally have made it impossible to continue with carefully costed projects such as the Octagon Theatre; and

“Their total failure to get to grips with the issues surrounding Adult Social Care which have meant that these costs now fall entirely on the new authority with no additional finance from central government.

"We can only support the needs of Somerset’s residents with adequate funding, both through the Council Tax and with additional support from central government.

“I am determined to fight for the services which those of us living in South Somerset depend on.

“As a responsible Liberal Democrat-led authority we need to deliver a balanced budget not just for this year but for the years to come.”

Cllr Dance also added “the Liberal Democrats are working together to save Somerset Council from bankruptcy by taking decisive action towards a balanced, realistic, and future-proofed budget for the county”.