Brighton and Hove Greens urge councillors to reject party’s own budget

Posted On 18 Jan 2015 at 11:55 pm

The Brighton and Hove Green Party has passed a motion calling on councillors to reject their own budget proposals, including a 5.9 per cent rise in council tax.

The party held a general meeting yesterday (Saturday 17 January) at the Brighthelm Centre where the motion was passed along with another asking Jason Kitcat to stand down as convenor – or leader.

The budget motion was reported yesterday by the Green Left blog and today (Sunday 18 January) by the Brighton and Hove Independent.

Davy Jones

Davy Jones

The motion, proposed by party member John Medhurst, was seconded by Davy Jones, the party’s parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown, and four councillors. The four were Ruth Buckley, the Green deputy leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Alex Phillips, Liz Wakefield, and Mike Jones.

It was also seconded by 12 other party members – Alison Plaumer, Trey Blake, Dawn Thorpe, David Walker, Steve Peake, Penny Porter, Paul Philo, Valerie Phillips, Richard Stanton, Carlie Goldsmith, Tom Coady and Diane Montgomery.

The motion said: “This general meeting notes the motion passed unanimously (with one abstention) at the December 2015 general meeting that the Brighton and Hove Green Party supports the production of an alternative budget for 2015-16 that would protect local services and employment, not cut them.

“The cuts to local services required to ‘balance the budget’ for 2015-16 are the direct result of massive and unprecedented cuts by central government to the local government support grant, cuts which could mean a further cut to the Brighton and Hove budget of over £100 million by 2020.

“This will effectively destroy local services as we know them.

“The cuts required to balance the budget for 2015-16 alone would require a restoration of more than £20 million of government grant or a council tax rise of over 20 per cent.

“The proposed 5.9 per cent council tax increase is therefore not viable as a means to fight the cuts or defend the vulnerable.

“It is a regressive tax on the poorest and it would hardly dent the massive cuts still required.

“To propose this rise in council tax in conjunction with a cuts budget would fatally undermine the Green Party’s anti-austerity stance locally and nationally.

“It is the worst of all worlds.

Councillor Ruth Buckley

Councillor Ruth Buckley

“We are now seeing a ‘Green surge’ and rising membership especially among younger voters, the primary reason for which is our inspiring anti-austerity message.

“If the only example in the UK of the Green Party in office were to implement a large cuts budget just before the 2015 general election that would disillusion and alienate many of those new supporters.

“It is likely it would severely damage not only the local party but the national party’s prospects in the election.

“The Brighton and Hove Green Party will not support any Brighton and Hove council budget for 2015-16 that makes further cuts to local services.

“We support a no cuts budget identifying how much government grant now needs to be returned to Brighton and Hove to avoid horrendous damage to local services.

“It is therefore the policy of Brighton and Hove Green party that any budget that makes further cuts to local services should not be voted for by the Green group of councillors, nor abstained upon to allow it to pass.

“The Brighton and Hove Green Party advocates a strategy of complete resistance to implementing further cuts to local services, including

  • A massive communications campaign to explain a) why the Green Party is adopting this policy, b) the devastating effect of the level of cuts suggested for 2015-16 and the years beyond and c) that Labour and the Conservatives will deliver those cuts because they have no policy or strategy to resist them.
  • Refusal to assist any officials sent by DCLG to enforce a cuts budget upon Brighton and Hove and wide publicity to explain this refusal.
  • Working with the Brighton and Hove People’s Assembly, local campaign groups and trade unions to publicise and implement this strategy and to create a focus of resistance to cuts and the austerity agenda.”

The motion agreed at the Green Party general meeting last month said: “This meeting calls on the party to plan for a 2015-16 budget that will protect services and employment, not cut them.

“We agree to explore all possible ways of securing the restoration of sufficient government grant to fund such a budget.

“As a key step towards this goal, we agree to mount a city-wide campaign involving Brighton and Hove People’s Assembly, local campaign groups, trade unions and as many other organisations as we can to raise awareness of the situation faced by the council and send a clear message to government that services and people in Brighton and Hove have suffered enough and cannot take any more cuts.

“This campaign will engage with the public and raise awareness through various different channels, for example, local media, stalls, canvassing, ward-level public meetings, street theatre, benefit gig, leaflets, window posters, a campaign website, social media, ward newsletters and Greenleaf.

“The campaign will run an online poll asking people whether they support the government’s programme and will use results from this poll to demonstrate popular resistance to the austerity agenda.”

The motion was proposed by Richard Stanton, one of the party’s candidates in Queen’s Park ward at the local elections in May, and seconded by Councillor Buckley.

 

  1. Gerald Wiley Reply

    Please to see the clueless ‘Green Left’, the anti-capitalist extreme left-wing party control group, wanting to maintain spending levels in the city whilst government is having to make reductions in all expenditure across the country.

    Where do they expect to get the income to support their grandiose vanity projects if they don’t increase local taxation; reduce expenditure; or increase charges for local facilities?

    Which cloud-cuckoo land do the greens live in?

    It is strange that other councils are working out how to manage with the economic situation.

    Even with their anti-austerity cries alongside demented Russell Brand, and claims of increasing membership from University students who want someone else to fund their 3 years of ‘having fun’ there is no way they will achieve any real impact on British politics.

    It is also good to note that the ‘greens’ have now entirely lost their ‘pro-environmental’ objectives – especially after what they have failed to achieve in the city with rubbish strikes; worsening recycling rates; and ever increasing emission levels caused by the self-generated congestion – what a joke of a political party!

    • Chips And Beans For Dinner Reply

      Gerald, I am so glad that you have noted the Greens have lost their ‘pro-environmentalist objectives’; don’t forget that Caroline Lucas is a member of ‘No Borders’ (the pro-mass immigration pressure group), and that Welsh Green Leader ‘potty’ Pippa Bartolotti and Green MEP Jean Lambert have both publically stated that if the Green Party ever came to power, it would abolish all border controls. That’s not too good for the environment, is it?!!!!!

      When you also take into account that the Foresty Commison is threatening to seek a legal injunction against the Green council to stop them from cutting-down so many trees in Brighton, it’s clear for all to see that the Greens are essentially a hard-left party that uses the guise of invironmentalisim to lure the gullible (i.e students) to vote for them.

  2. feline1 Reply

    SPLITTERS!!

  3. feline1 Reply

    Jason Kitkat is going anyway, I thought?
    He’s got himself set up with a cushy number in one of those daft unaccountable sinks-for-our-taxes quangos, the “local government association” or whatever its called, a meta-public-sector body whose function is to advise public sector bodies what they can spend our taxes on.

  4. Hjarrs Reply

    And there was New Labour Lord Bassam complaining that the Greens were “not even radical”.

    Given the level of government cuts, no council that I can find has been able to maintain the comprehensive level of services that are still provided by B&H council. But it really is going to be slash and burn in the next few years if we don’t fight back.

    This is what Labour would have done when it had values and a soul.

    The fight against austerity started here in our city!

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      @Napoleon – perhaps you should looking at other councils other than just focussing on the disaster that is the green ‘led’ one that you sycophantically support.

      Yes – other councils are going to have problems too with the reduction in central funding. Perhaps your ‘leaders’ could look at stopping wasting money on the various vanity projects and stop pretending they are running a separate country with their own laws and economic policies.

      The realisation that the greens are an incompetent and leaderless group of irresponsible, ideological, extreme left wing activists hell bent on returning the country to the union-controlled nightmare of the 1970s, rather than a party that actually cared about the environment, became extremely clear in out city as well.

  5. Bruno Beloff Reply

    I voted Green many times in the past, but am unlikely to do so again.

    Since 2008, most people who work for a living have taken a big hit. Meanwhile, the Green party has retreated into a fantasy world. Its response to the crisis is to wreck small businesses and kick working people in the teeth. Its councillors should pause, and think about who is paying their bills.

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