The Greens have criticised Labour and Conservative councillors for their “purple coalition” after the two larger parties struck a deal over Brighton and Hove City Council’s budget.
At the annual budget council meeting at Hove Town Hall on Thursday (22 February) the Greens proposed six amendments.
These would have enabled the council to put £2 million extra into social work, fund more homelessness prevention and support environmentally friendly energy options for the city.
The Greens also proposed ending free parking for councillors and using the £30,000 saving to reverse cuts to school transport for vulnerable children.
But Labour, which runs the council, and the Tories votes down the Greens’ proposals.
They said: “The Labour and Conservative groups rejected proposals on increasing park security, boosting litter collection and bringing costly emergency accommodation in-house.
“The council spends over £4.1 million paying private landlords for emergency accommodation for rough sleepers.”
Green finance lead Councillor Ollie Sykes said: “The Greens are incredibly disappointed but, after the collusion between the Labour and Conservative councillors, not surprised to see our positive suggestions for city’s residents be rejected at budget council.
“Labour tried to wriggle out of voting in favour of our ideas by saying our work to reverse their cuts was ‘too complicated’.
“What is complicated about stopping cuts to learning disability services, funding home to school transport, about warmer homes, more park security or ending the practice of outsourcing our emergency accommodation to money-guzzling private companies?
“Greens engaged as early as possible with both parties as soon as our amendments were submitted, gave them all the time they needed and frankly we hoped for more from fellow councillors for our residents.
“Smiles from the Labour group as Green amendments to prevent homelessness and to end fuel poverty fell were shocking.
“Greens improved the Labour group’s budget but they would rather oversee over £12 million of cuts than put our plans for the city first.”
Green group convenor Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “Gleeful cheers from the Labour councillors as their £12 million cuts budget was voted through – thanks to a deal with the Tories – is a shameful outcome.
“It’s our residents who lose out. Green amendments identified funds for vital services without robbing one to pay for another.
“But Labour would clearly rather hand down massive cuts than support this approach.
“At the end of the day their grubby deal with the Tories to pass a cuts budget will affect our marginalised residents the most.
“They will now be left to endure increased cuts for another year, with yet more to come.”
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