Fears cuts will kill off Flintshire vision

Reporter:

Lois Hough

FEARS have been raised that funding cuts will kill off an ambitious vision for a better Flintshire.

A special meeting of Flintshire Council was told that cuts announced by the new government in Westminster would mean that the Flintshire Community Strategy would never be achieved.

But council leader Arnold Woolley said the county had to look to the future and that the plan would serve Flintshire well.

The vision aims to improve the county by creating safer neighbourhoods as well as improving health facilities and learning opportunities.

The strategy, ordered by the Welsh Assembly Government, should be achieved by 2019.

Mold East councillor Chris Bithell told the meeting: “It is a very laudable document and it is the place we want to be.

“It provides a solid base for us to build on in the future, but I don’t think we can achieve this vision in the economic downturn. Without the commitment and financial support it isn’t going to happen. That is a grave concern that I have. I just can’t see us making progress.”

Flint Castle councillor Ian Roberts said the new coalition government was to blame.

He added: “The funding streams to make this vision happen are just not there.”

Despite their reservations, members supported the strategy which had already been signed off by the Local Service Board in 2009. The council will also be revamping town centres, encouraging home ownership and improving childcare facilities as part of the vision.

Council leader Arnold Woolley said: “We are in difficult circumstances but we have to look to the future. It does not look ahead to a rose-tinted future. It looks forward to the reality of what we have.”

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