Tory and Labour politicians clash over plans to shut Derbyshire centres

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A top Labour councillor has accused the Tory leader of Derbyshire County Council (DCC) of distributing 'fake news like Donald Trump'.

Anne Western made the comment about Barry Lewis after he uncovered a document which revealed that Labour planned to close three waste recycling centres before it lost control of DCC last year.

Councillor Barry Lewis, leader of Derbyshire County Council.

Councillor Lewis said: "When we were elected to power in May, our first action as a new Conservative administration was to scrap Labour's controversial tip charges.

"But that was just the tip of the iceberg.

"It now transpires that Labour was secretly considering the closure of three waste recycling centres, with Chesterfield, Bolsover, Loscoe, Glossop and Bretby sites potentially in the firing line.

"We will not be closing any tips while we are in control of DCC and this highlights the huge contrast between the Conservatives and Labour in Derbyshire.

Councillor Anne Western, leader of the Labour group at Derbyshire County Council.

"While Labour just wants to slash frontline services that local people depend on to score petty political points against the Government, we Conservatives are rolling up our sleeves and getting on with the job of delivering the things that are really important to the people of Derbyshire."

Coun Western, leader of the Labour group at DCC, responded: "In the face of worsening Government cuts to the council budget over the period 2013 to 2017, Labour's cabinet members examined in great detail every single budget in every department.

"A huge range of potential budget cuts proposals came forward from officers, some of which we accepted but many we did not.

"The closure of waste disposal sites was one that we did not accept.

"This is a non-story about something that did not happen; fake news in the style of Donald Trump.

"Coun Lewis is trying to deflect attention away from his budget which proposes the biggest council tax increase in 15 years, cuts the most vulnerable people’s services and increases the size of the black hole of further cuts in the next four years.

"His election manifesto is in tatters - but rather than take responsibility he keeps blaming Labour.

"He should take a lead from some of his fellow Conservative council leaders and tell his Government that austerity is not working.”

Last month, DCC cabinet members agreed to make £12.3million in cuts over the next year.

Councillors also voted for a 4.99 per cent council tax rise for 2018-19 - its biggest in 15 years.

READ MORE: Cabinet approves multi-million pound cuts and council tax hike in Derbyshire

The controversial cuts and council tax rise are expected to be rubber-stamped at a meeting of the full county council next week.

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