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!”
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