Conservatives are continuing to call on the Green Administration to put a halt to further planned council tax rises, especially after an independent Audit report revealed that Brighton & Hove City Council is a high spending council compared to other similar authorities.
The Annual Governance Report which is being presented at next Tuesday’s (24th September) Audit & Standards Committee states that Brighton & Hove City Council “remains high spending compared to its statistical nearest neighbours. This is true for both its overall per capita spending, and per capita spending in each of its main service areas. Spending is decreasing in the majority of areas but not at a faster rate than at statistically similar authorities. Spend per head is particularly high in children’s services and housing services, where it is in the top five per cent relative to comparable authorities.”
The Conservative Group Finance Spokesperson – Cllr. Ann Norman – said: “Here we have independent evidence that the Council’s spending, under a Green Administration, is high compared to similar councils. If other councils can provide the same services for less council taxpayers’ money then there is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t. Sadly the Greens’ ideological opposition to any form of market testing means that services will continue to be relatively expensive for Brighton & Hove’s council taxpayers.”
Group Leader – Geoffrey Theobald – added: “Labour and the Greens like to blame any difficult decisions that have to be taken on Government policies but this just goes to show that there is still plenty of scope for savings to be made that don’t impact on frontline services. The Greens should certainly abandon their plans to raise council tax and Labour should come off the fence and instead look at how other councils manage to deliver services more cheaply.”
The Audit report can be accessed here.