Sack the council's £125k directors, say Brighton and Hove Greens

Posted On 01 Mar 2011 at 2:46 am

Green councillors on Brighton and Hove City Council want to get rid of four newly appointed £125,000-a-year senior officers.

They would prefer to sacrifice the four strategic directors in the budget in favour of funding the Connexions youth careers and advice service, which is facing cuts.

But while the party tabled an amendment to the council’s budget papers to be discussed on Thursday (3 March), the proposal has been blocked by the ruling Conservative administration.

Green finance spokesman Jason Kitcat said: “However skilled these strategic directors are, they’re an expensive layer of management that the council simply cannot afford in the face of the unprecedented cuts the Conservative-led government is imposing on us.

“We are deeply disappointed we have been blocked by the Tory administration and senior officers from even discussing this proposal.

“This unwelcome move by the Tories and their appointed, unaccountable bureaucrats makes a mockery of local democracy.

“Our alternative budget would make council spending fairer, reduce the impact of the cuts and improve our position for future years.

“The Tories nationally are cutting our funding to the bone, while locally they are spending everything they’ve got in a desperate attempt to win over the electorate this May.

“We are doing everything we legally can to minimise harm, set the groundwork for positive future projects and protect public services while voicing our anger at this Conservative-Lib Dem government’s callous cuts.”

The Greens would also freeze council tax rather than cutting it by 1 per cent. This would save almost £1.2 million. The Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service precepts have been frozen this year.

The full Green alternative budget can be seen online at http://bit.ly/greenbudget.

Key items in it include

  • £924,000 of recurring funding being put back into services for Children, Young People and Families including educational psychologists and the Connexions careers and advice service
  • £500,000 to kick-start investment in solar panels for council homes and offices, which would create free electricity for tenants and new revenue through the “Feed-in Tariff” for renewable energy generation
  • £450,000 for a new reserve to deal with the risks of the major changes proposed to services for Adult Social Care and Children, Young People and Families
  • £40,000 to pilot a residential food waste collection scheme
  • £25,000 to fund extra noise patrol shifts in the city
  • £15,000 more in grants to voluntary organisations in the city
  • £26,000 saved from removing catering for meetings councillors attend and £18,000 saved by reforming the system of councillor allowances

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