Labour and the Greens combine to fight Brighton and Hove council budget

Posted On 01 Mar 2011 at 1:52 pm

Labour and Green councillors have put aside party differences to challenge Conservative plans to cut council tax in Brighton and Hove.

They said that would work together this week to try to save jobs at Brighton and Hove City Council.

The two party leaders said that they wanted to “protect vital local services and jobs”.

They will table joint amendments to the Tory administration’s budget for 2010-11 at a council meeting on Thursday (3 March).

Spacewords Brighton

They said that the Tory and Lib Dem coalition government has imposed spending cuts of £82.5 million on Brighton and Hove over the next four years.

Of that, £34 million had to be cut this year, they said.

Labour group leader Councillor Gill Mitchell said: “We’re uniting for the good of the city.

“The Tory budget is reckless and unstable and based more on election gimmicks than sound financial planning.

“However, in the face of the savage cuts, we must be extra prudent with local taxpayers’ money.

“That’s why, without raising the council tax, our amendments will protect services, save jobs and keep some money in reserve in case of further government cuts.”

Green Party convenor Councillor Bill Randall said: “We have put aside political differences to oppose the cuts that will increase inequality in the city, victimise the vulnerable and penalise the poor.

“Furthermore 250 council jobs will be lost.

“Putting together our proposals has been very difficult because we have been denied access to information by the Tories who are intent on putting the whole city into reverse.”

Among the joint Labour and Green proposals are:

  • A reversal of the Tory plan to reduce council tax by 1 per cent. Labour and the Greens believe that the £1.1 million that it takes from the budget would be used more effectively and fairly to protect local services and jobs for the general good of the city.
  • An end to the £1 million plan to scrap the cycle lane in The Drive and Grand Avenue in Hove.

The attempt to derail the Conservatives’ budget plans is seen as a dry run for after the local elections in May.

The two parties are considering whether they may be able to form a coalition  to oust the Tories if no party has an overall majority.

  1. Valerie Paynter, saveHOVE Reply

    I do not believe the Conservatives ever genuinely intended to spend £1m on taking out the offending cycle lane. They knew suggesting it would force the opposition to veto it. Why bother?

    Central Ward Conservative candidates can assert to voters that they tried but were blocked by the opposition parties. Win-win for them in Central Ward.

    Anyone not able to attend the Budget Council meeting can watch the whole thing on as the meeting will be live-webcast on the council website.

  2. George Lee Reply

    Why jobs cut in the council are always being axed at the bottom but never at the extravagantly paid middle management who has no concrete works delivery?

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