An Independent councillor and a UKIP councillor are working together to try to stave off cuts which would affect some of the most vulnerable people in Brighton and Hove.
Councillor Christina Summers and Councillor Leigh Farrow want unallocated reserves of about £1 million used to protect services for, among others, children with special educational needs and disabilities.
The budget contains almost £1.2 million in unallocated reserves which are set aside to deal with unforeseen spending needs should they arise in the coming financial year.
Councillor Summers, an Independent former Green who represents Hollingdean and Stanmer, has submitted an amendment to the Brighton and Hove City Council budget which is due to be discussed on Thursday (26 February).
According to the Brighton and Hove Independent, the amendment has been seconded by Councillor Farrow, who represents Moulsecoomb and Bevendean and switched from Labour to UKIP last year.
The amendment, which is unlikely to be passed, aims to protect
- the discretionary grants programme to third-sector organisations and defer, for a further year, the saving decision made in 2014-15 that sanctioned a grant reduction of £165,000 in 2015-2016
- provision of special educational needs and disability services for children by deferring savings proposals on the following areas for a year – special educational needs (£25,000), integrated children’s disability (£140,000), services for children with disabilities (residential and respite placements, short breaks, direct payments and family support services) (£341,000),
- youth service provision by deferring for one year the £146,000 saving proposal – this resource should be allocated to enhancing the integrated support service for children aged 13 to 19 as determined by the outcome of the review that is planned for these services
- preventative housing-related (“Supporting People”) services for vulnerable adults by deferring the saving proposal of £350,000 for one year
The budget – and the council tax for 2015-16 – are due to be agreed at the meeting on Thursday. It is due to start at 4.30pm at Hove Town Hall and is open to the public.