The Conservative Group on Brighton & Hove City Council have unveiled their Budget proposals ahead of the Full Budget Council meeting today.
The amendments to the Labour Administration’s Budget include proposals to:
- Save the city’s highly valued Youth Service by substantially reducing Labour’s proposed cut
- Increase funding for the Direct Payment scheme to secure short respite breaks for families with disabled children
- Reduce Labour’s proposed cut in the budget for support to the city’s vitally important Community and Voluntary sector
- Increase the budget for street tree planting and maintenance
- Invest in new playground equipment in Mile Oak Park, Portslade.
Some of the measures being proposed by the Conservatives to fund these additional spending commitments include getting rid of the low emission discount that residents with diesel vehicles get when buying resident parking permits; reducing councillors’ Special Responsibility Allowances; abolishing Labour’s talking shop that is the Neighbourhoods, Inclusion, Communities & Equality Committee; and reforming the management of the Council’s high spending housing service.
Conservative Group Finance Spokesman and Deputy Leader, Andrew Wealls, said: “We have been working very hard over the last few months to try and mitigate some of the damaging proposals in what has been a chaotic Budget process. It has been characterised by a lack of strategic thinking, particularly with regard to preventative services such as the Youth Service, cuts to which will add to the Council’s costs further down the line. I’m therefore delighted that we have been able to find funds to support most of the valuable work that the Youth Service does in some of our most deprived communities. It was very frustrating for us to hear deputations and petitions from engaged young people dismissed so cavalierly by the Labour leadership, but we have listened and very much hope that our plans are agreed on Thursday.”
“We are always concerned to support the community work of the voluntary sector in this city and are proud to have reduced the savings here. Similarly in supporting personal choices for respite care for families of disabled children. In these cases we have listened to their representatives and responded as best we can.”
“Labour campaigned at the last election on a platform of rebuilding play equipment in Mile Oak Park and have failed to deliver this. However, we have managed to find the funds to do what Labour couldn’t, and this revamp will help transform the health and happiness of the young people and families who live there and who frankly deserve better.”
Conservative Group Leader, Geoffrey Theobald, added: “Council Leader, Warren Morgan, never tires of saying that he has no choice but to end the Youth Service because of cuts in Government funding, yet we have managed to find the funding to save it. Young people in the city who use this service will therefore be wondering why on earth they have been forced by Labour to go through months of uncertainty and distress. I would urge both Labour and Green councillors to get behind our sensible, constructive and fully-costed amendments for the sake of some of the city’s residents.”