Brighton and Hove Greens criticise £5k ‘innovation’ prize, saying ‘gimmicks’ won’t save Labour

Posted On 04 Dec 2015 at 8:43 pm

Brighton and Hove Greens have “expressed scepticism” over Labour’s plans to offer cash prizes for people who come up with money-saving ideas for the council.

Labour leader Warren Morgan announced the City Innovation Challenge 2016 yesterday (Thursday 3 December).

Councillor Morgan offered five £1,000 cash prizes for innovative ideas to help meet Brighton and Hove City Council’s budget challenges.

But Green councillors said that the idea was “too little too late”. And, they said, it could not substitute for the cuts the administration has made to consultation, engagement and scrutiny of budget proposals by elected councillors and community groups.

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty

The Greens said that Labour’s proposal was to accept ideas for a month in the new year. But this allowed “just 14 working days for ideas to be assessed and added to budget proposals, before the council meets to set next year’s budget”.

Councillor Morgan has already come under fire from the Conservatives and unions over the proposals which were rushed out before the council’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting yesterday.

Green group convener Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “The latest competition from Councillor Morgan is just a political gimmick which is frankly too little too late.

“Under fire from the Greens over their cuts to consultation and engagement over the budget, the Labour administration appears to have cobbled this idea together at the last minute.

“We welcome any measures to meaningfully engage with residents over the budget proposals.

“But this process should have started months ago, when Greens offered to support Labour in taking a wider conversation to the city.

“At this point, we are concerned that there will be insufficient time to fully assess ideas put forward and how they will impact on the city.

“I have no doubt that there is a huge amount of creativity and innovation in the city, that’s why we’ve been calling for Labour to use it for months.

“But the reality is Labour have steadily cut back on openness and transparency since taking control of the council, removing freedom of information requests and financial figures on the openly local website.

“Residents are now being asked to put forward ideas with very little information about how the council currently operates.

“Innovation and creativity often require risks to be taken and investments to be made in order to save money in the longer term.

“The short-sighted cuts proposed to children’s centres and youth services suggests Labour are not thinking in the longer term and unwilling to invest to save.

“The question is, does Labour have the courage to get behind any genuine innovation?

“The reality is that even five fantastic ideas to address budget challenges will barely scratch the surface of the full budget cuts the council plan to make.

“Until the local Labour Party take the fight back to central government, we will continue to see savage cuts to services and visible deterioration of the city.”

  1. Gerald Wiley Reply

    Of course the greens, instead, would have given similar awards for ideas to spend additional money on uneconomic, ideological, vanity schemes and then demand a 6% increase in council tax to finance them.

    Let us not forget the 4 previous years…

    • Hjarrs Reply

      Except the Greens didn’t did they. Inconvenient but true…

      let us not forget the last 4 years eh?

      • Gerald Wiley Reply

        But if you recall, Jason Kitcat and the watermelon faction of the greens DID want 6% increases each year and to take on the government and the 1.99% limit. It was only your new friends, Labour, that forced through the 1.99% increase each year.

        You must stop trying to rewrite history to protect your loathsome paymasters.

        • Gerald Wiley Reply

          Missed end of reply…

          You must stop trying to rewrite history in support of your loathesome paymasters.

          • Hjarrs

            How exactly am I rewriting history?

            The Greens didn’t hold some sort of prize giving competition did they. End of. Nor did they want to increase council tax by 6% every year.

          • Gerald Wiley

            Almost continually as you try to make it appear that all the green inspired vanity schemes actually delivered real benefits by ‘bigging them up’.

            I’m afraid the only deranged people around here are those loyal sycophants of the green party who try to make it appear that the greens were ever a benefit to the city.

  2. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    So, will we see all the back-backroom sad-sacks who fill message boards now piling in with all the skills and savvy they claim to possess in such abundance that they could be Chief Executive if anybody asked them? All those people who cannot string together a literate sentence…

    • Steve Reply

      You think we’re all illiterate chrusterpher ? Why would that stop us from having valid opinions. Maybe that’s one of the problems, you lot seem to think you’re so much better and far wiser than all of us plebs that you seem to forget who you’re supposed to represent.

    • Gerald Wiley Reply

      Christopher – perhaps you should get back on to your campaign to get 7 libraries in the city closed in order to pay for keeping library services in Hove run out of the current building with it’s mahogany handrails, instead of moving to a new purpose built building 400 yds down the road.

      It’s wonderful to see the calibre of response we get from someone who used to be a councillor and then failed at becoming MP for Hove.

  3. Rolivan Reply

    Not if you have to wait 5 months for a reply,Cllr MacCafferty was kind enough to put my suggestion forward but it would appear for some reason it got swept under the carpet until I mentioned it to a Council Officer recently and then I got the usual apology, it was the Mistake of a Council Officer who didn’t even have the decency to Apologise Himself,I know who he is and I will not stop until I get an answer from Him.
    It would appear Cllr Morgan is drifting closer and closer to the right, or wrong as in this instance?

  4. The Stains Of Time Reply

    The Green Party are absolutely shocking and incompetent.

    I am unimpressed by Phelim Macafferty

  5. Andy South Reply

    Ha ha ha if Stains is unimpressed by the Greens perhaps he/she/it can tell us what is so impressive by a succession of Lab/ Con administrations that have seen the city deteriorate over decades? Black Rock? PrestonBarracks? London Road? Madeira Terraces? Leees Road/ Coombe Terrace? Peter Pans? The seafront arches? And lots more tell me that these previous administrations have a helluva lot to answer for!!

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