Conservatives on Brighton & Hove City Council have unveiled their Budget proposals ahead of next Thursday’s crucial Full Council meeting. These include:
- Restoring £60k to the Public Toilets Budget, potentially saving some of the 5 toilets proposed for closure by Labour.
- Reinstating the Council’s Noise Patrol Service which Labour wants to abolish entirely.
- Investing £93k in grass verge cutting and gully cleansing to improve the look of the city and help prevent flooding.
- Reversing Labour’s proposed cut to preventative mental health funding.
- Reversing Labour’s proposed cut to residential and respite breaks funding for children with disabilities.
- Partially reversing Labour’s proposed cuts to support for homeless households and to the community grants programme.
- Protecting the St. John’s Day Service for older people.
- Freezing the cost of business, trader and visitor parking permits.
These measures will be largely paid for through additional savings in Senior Management costs and through reductions in the 10 full-time Trade Union Officials employed by the Council – one of the highest numbers in the country.
Speaking about the proposals, Conservative Group Leader Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, said: “We are pleased that the Labour Administration has started to carry out some of the reforms to Council services that the Conservative Group has been advocating for the last 4 or 5 years. However, there are a number of areas where we disagree with their approach – namely in cutting some of the bread and butter services that residents rely upon and also services to some highly vulnerable groups. Our fully costed amendments demonstrate that there is no need for them to make these cuts.”
Group Finance Spokesman, Cllr. Andrew Wealls, added: “Labour’s inheritance from the Greens’ lost years was unreformed council services, hostility to the community and voluntary sector and a chronically overspent budget. We are pleased Labour has adopted many of the ideas presented in our Conservative manifesto last year to address the challenges faced by the city. However, if we aren’t to face a crisis in future years we will need to see much faster action on reform and a willingness to challenge Labour’s vested interests to ensure our city’s frontline services are high quality and accessible, especially for those who need them most.”