Brighton and Hove council tax cut and cycle lane plans thrown out

Posted On 03 Mar 2011 at 9:19 pm

Plans to cut council tax in Brighton and Hove by 1 per cent and to scrap a controversial cycle lane have been voted out by opposition councillors at the annual budget meeting.

The moves came amid persistent protests from anti-cuts campaigners.

This afternoon councillors began discussing the ruling Tory party’s proposals to save about £30 million after the Government slashed its funding.

However, with just 25 councillors the Conservatives were outvoted by the opposition Labour and Green parties, which both have 13 councillors.

Points of contention included Tory plans to scrap cycle lanes in Grand Avenue and The Drive in Hove, for which they set aside £1.1 million, and a 1 per cent reduction in council tax.

Both were vetoed in amendments proposed jointly by the Greens and Labour, and shortly after 9.20pm, the amendments were passed in a recorded vote.

Another Tory proposal, to cut resident parking charges, was also thrown out and instead these fees will be frozen.

At the same time, £100,000 was cut from the grass mowing budget, which upset Conservative members for the leafier suburbs, but was supported by Labour and Green councillors, whose wards will be less affected.

The joint vote also puts hundreds of thousands of pounds back into schools and the children’s and adult social services budgets.

These amendments can be read in full from page 11 of the addendum to the full council meeting agenda here.

However, a Green motion to save £26,000 by removing all catering including drinks at all council meetings was defeated by Labour and the Tories.

The amended budget was eventually voted through at about 10.15pm after a Green attempt to vote against it in its entirety was defeated by the Conservatives, with Labour abstaining.

A protest was held outside the town hall before the meeting began, and demonstrators continued their protest against the cuts in the public gallery.

During one of two adjournments, police removed one man out of the public gallery.

The second adjournment delayed the meeting for 35 minutes, while council leader Mary Mears spoke directly to protesters.

They were unhappy about comments made by Conservative councillor Lynda Hyde when she appeared to say words to the effect that those disrupting the meeting did not pay council tax.

According to Green councillor Sven Rufus, posters bearing the word Hope were taken from the public gallery, which met with cries of: “The Tories have taken our hope!”

  1. Graeme Reply

    The bike lanes in The Drive / Grand Avenue are unsafe as demonstrated by safety report – and as is clear to anyone who uses them. They risk cyclists, pedestrians (who cross them to get to bus stops) and the narrowed roads block emergency vehicles when there is a bus at a bus stop. Do we have to wait until there is a terrible accident before we get rid of these death traps?

  2. Valerie Paynter, saveHOVE Reply

    From 8:30pm onward the council live webcast was “unobtainable”. Did a plug get pulled in error in the council chamber? or is the council’s newly revamped website not fit for purpose? How many hits is it able to take on its webcasts?

    And why was there blanked out censorship before adjournments when protesters kicked off? The council webcast system needs serious attention to make it less amateurish.

  3. doug Reply

    The bike lanes are a waste of time. There are only the odd few bikes that use it,A danger for cars pulling out from there homes every day,why dont people open there eyes and take a good look at the amount of use it really gets? what a waste of money,
    And parking should be cheaper in the town where spaces in strreets that are empty ,Preston Park Ave, maybe a change to a midday restiction

  4. Sync Outlook Reply

    @doug, it is the cars that are dangerous to bikes, not the other way around. It is only because people decide to use a powerful combustion engine to move over a tonne down the public highway that road users not shielded by metal and glass are put in danger. If you stop driving and start cycling you stop being a lethal danger to others.

  5. Pingback: Brighton and Hove Conservatives don’t know what saving means « 42 Bikes

  6. Pingback: Grand Drive Cycle Lanes to be kept | As Easy As Riding A Bike

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