A VOTE of no confidence has rung out in County Hall at a Christmas council meeting normally marked by festive goodwill.
Opposition members have accused the council of financial mismanagement.
It was the first time in four years the Conservative administration has been out-voted and it came as four Tories was absent during a debate on the Mid-Year Performance Review.
More than a dozen areas of service were said to be overspent in the current budget.
Councillors attacked the Tories’ “repugnant remedial measures” to balance the budget.”
Cllr David Newton said: “You (the Tory administration) have produced budgets in the last five years knowing that some needs would not be met.
“You have always known demands in services would grow. Not to provide resources to meet them was irresponsible.”
Older people’s services are under review and schools are being closed across the county.
But council leader Paul Findlow said: “In their latest report, the auditors have indicated that we are performing well.
“The opposition took advantage of the fact that four of my colleagues were off ill to push forward a motion which, as usual, lacks a single credible recommendation. “
He also said it had come on the same day the Government stumped up a “Scrooge-like” provisional grant settlement of just 2.2%.