Home Council Budget Local Conservatives Do Not Support Labour’s Council Tax Increase

Local Conservatives Do Not Support Labour’s Council Tax Increase

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Cllr Andrew Wealls, Conservative Finance Spokesman
Cllr Andrew Wealls, Conservative Finance Spokesman

Local Conservatives do not support Labour’s Council Tax increase. But we don’t control the Council. We could have tried to reduce it but we were certain to have been scuppered by a Labour-Green alliance. No matter what we had proposed we would have lost; so the city loses too.

Conservatives Achieved Significant Wins For Our City’s Young People

We achieved significant wins for our city’s young people by assuring Moderate-Labour of our votes. (Full details here) But we are worried that reform has stalled. We have actively supported the review of education for children with special educational needs. Yet huge questions are still to be answered. A wholescale review of Council services for SEN children and families is urgently needed; so we get the right help where it is needed most. We see spending cuts in this budget for respite breaks for families with disabled children. Yet holding together a family only just coping must be a top priority for the Council; where is there evidence of this? Conservatives would like to see these families properly supported, and call on Labour to take their responsibilities here seriously.

We Welcome The Extra £7.5m  The Conservative Government Will Give Brighton & Hove

Local Conservatives are realistic about the challenges facing the Council. We know the cost of social care is going up as our population ages and demand increases. We welcome the extra £7.5m  the government will give us this year to help. And know the 3% Council Tax supplement on top of Labour’s 3% hike is probably unavoidable. We just want to be sure it will be properly spent. There is a huge challenge to integrate social care and the NHS, and doubt whether sensible moderate Labour politicians have the nerve to commission services fairly and effectively whilst constantly living in fear of a dysfunctional relationship with the unions and Momentum-Labour ready to deselect them for making any decision they don’t like.

Why Did We Offer To Support Labour Moderates?

So why did we offer to support Labour moderates in getting their budget passed? It was the only way to rescue something positive for the city’s young people, whilst holding back Momentum Labour. There is a limit what an official Opposition can do when faced with a Green-Momentum Labour alliance hell bent on polishing our reputation as a City of Protest and scuppering vital reform of Council services.

Conservatives Stopped Labour’s Raid On Council Tenants’ Rent

We’ve successfully stopped Labour’s raid on Council tenants’ rent. We think Children’s Centres are important and should be funded by all Council Tax Payers. Labour proposed Council tenants paid for theirs whist council tax payers paid everyone else’s. How is that fair? We told Labour that Council tenants wouldn’t stand for it and neither would Conservative Councillors. Given the Greens wouldn’t support the raid too, Labour had no choice but to agree.

Labour Score a D For Results & An E For Effort!

Labour boasts of getting the basics right. But anyone who has tried to recycle waste in a communal bin recently or is the caretaker of a residential block waiting for the glass recycling to be emptied will score Labour a D for results and an E for effort. The budget proposes an extra £50,000 for GMB and Unison officials; giving them £200,000 of your money in the hope they will let Cityclean management manage. Is that a forlorn hope? We think so. It’s not just us who see that Local Labour’s relationship with the unions is chaotic. Outside experts said it was too. They recommended we needed Independent help to sort it out; Labour have just given them more of your money.

Labour failed & Our City Has Missed Out

Your Labour led Council failed to qualify for he government’s New Homes Bonus. This scheme rewards Councils which achieve a growth  in housing stock of more than 0.4% a year. They failed and the city has missed out, not only on the additional housing stock but also on the funding that comes with it.