Brighton and Hove must be fed up to the back teeth with politicians who say one thing in opposition and another thing in power.
This year Brighton and Hove City Council has endured some of the worst examples.
In 2014 Labour’s outgoing leader Warren Morgan brought a “no confidence” motion against the then Green administration, citing in-fighting, squabbling and an unaffordable 4.75 per cent council tax rise as his reasons.
Any casual reader of our local press knows that he has been kicked out by in-fighting in his own local Labour Party after saddling the city with a 6 per cent council tax rise.
Green leader Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty slammed Labour councillors for voting against one of his proposals, which would have restored £30,000 of Labour’s £70,000 cut to home to school transport for disabled children. Yet the last Green administration cut £500,000 from that budget.
A Labour councillor berated the Greens for cutting £14,000 from respite breaks for families with disabled children just before the 2015 election.
But her own party has cut a staggering £386,000 from those budgets over three years in power while funding trade unions with taxpayers’ money to the tune of £200,000 a year.
Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP boasts of saving the youth service but he tried to shut it down when he was a councillor.
Conservative councillors secured additional funding for youth services in the budget.
In brief, Conservatives saved: short breaks and day support for young people with learning disabilities, independent visitors for children in care, additional mental and emotional support for young people, neighbourhood youth work, skills and employment support for young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), the youth bus service, support for unaccompanied asylum seekers and substance misuse rehabilitation.
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 £7.5 million the government will give us this year to help.
And we know the 3 per cent council tax supplement on top of Labour’s 3 per cent 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 But we doubt whether sensible moderate Labour politicians have the nerve to commission services fairly and effectively while 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.
I’m wondering what Peter Kyle will say at the next election. He calmed our nerves last time by saying that Jeremy Corbyn didn’t have a cat in hell’s chance of becoming Prime Minister.
If Momentum doesn’t boot him out for this crime beforehand, what on earth will he say to voters next time?
Councillor Andrew Wealls is the Conservative opposition spokesman on finance on Brighton and Hove City Council.