Labour comes out in support of Brighton and Hove’s children’s centres

Posted On 18 Feb 2015 at 2:08 pm

The Brighton and Hove Labour group today said it would table amendments to the council budget to protect the city’s at-risk children’s centres.

Councillor Warren Morgan

Councillor Warren Morgan

It also said it would oppose cuts to public toilet opening times, and attempt to block its increases in council tax and parking charges.

Instead, it would balance the budget by making cuts to the communications, senior management and sustainability budgets.

Councillor Warren Morgan said: “Labour in Brighton and Hove will stand up for residents in the forthcoming budget, saving some essential services from being cut under Green proposals, and ensuring big Green increases in parking charges and council tax don’t go through.

“Residents want their council to protect children’s centres, keep public toilets open, maintain funding to essential voluntary sector organisations in the city, and block inflation-busting rises in council tax and parking charges. Labour’s amendments to the Green budget proposals will do just that.”

Labour’s amendments will also seek to ensure that funding cut from domestic violence refuges will be fully restored; that the Mayor can continue to go to community and charity events; that supported employer Able and Willing can continue to take on staff with learning disabilities; and that handover funding for the popular Pride Parade will not be lost.

Mr Morgan said: “When faced with big cuts in funding from the Conservative Government, the Greens have made some very bad choices about what to cut.

“Nationally Labour have pledged to fund and expand children’s centres, and give local councils a fairer funding settlement if elected in May.”

Labour will seek to prevent the Greens from triggering a million pound referendum with their 6% council tax increase, and the Conservative Group proposals that would lead to millions of pounds worth of extra service cuts, by backing a 1.9% increase in council tax as they secured last year.

If the Greens and Conservatives back a referendum with a 6% or freeze choice which ends in a “no” vote, most of the services saved by Labour will be cut, and another two million in savings will be needed next year.

Labour’s amendments will move funds from the Communications, Senior Management and Sustainability budgets, which the Greens sought to protect. Money will also come from over a million pounds earmarked by the Greens to fund their council tax referendum.

Full amendment details are being finalised, costed and approved by officers will be released in due course. Further amendments may be added if funding can be identified.

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