OPINION

Labour will end council overspending and reduce burden of cuts on residents

Posted On 06 Dec 2022 at 11:26 pm

At the Policy and Resources Committee last Thursday (1 December), the true scale of the financial crisis facing the council became clear.

Currently, the council is suffering an overspend of more than £11 million in this financial year, with a recruitment freeze for all but the most critical jobs in place for the rest of the year.

The pressures of 12 years of Tory funding cuts and the crisis in social care funding have combined alongside increasing pay costs and raging inflation to put the council perilously close to the brink financially.

These pressures are only made worse by the announcement that more than £19 million of savings will be required in next year’s budget.

These threaten to lead to drastic cuts such as the closure of council nurseries in the most disadvantaged communities, cuts to basic services and the loss of important youth programmes.

In previous years, the worst impacts of the funding crisis have been reduced by using council reserves.

But the level of reserves now available to the council are dwindling and there can be no doubt that the next few months will see the worst reduction in council services in living memory.

Combined with the current cost of living crisis, these will leave all residents seeing and feeling the effects daily and it threatens the safety of our most vulnerable residents.

Brighton and Hove Labour councillors have already demanded additional officer input into solving these problems, instigating a full review of the council’s assets including its investment portfolio to free up vital cash to try to reduce the burden of cuts on residents.

Now is the time for all councillors of all parties to play their part and put aside party politics for the good of the city.

There is no doubt that difficult decisions are coming and we desperately need to ensure that the Green administration gets a grip of the scale of the problem sooner rather than later.

It is no solution to kick difficult decisions into the long grass because delays will only increase the scale of the cuts in future years.

We are determined to steady the ship now and, if elected to run the council in 2023, to take further bold action to stop overspending and ensure the council continues to strive to deliver the highest possible levels of public services for the benefit of the many, not the few.

Councillor Daniel Yates is the former Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.

  1. Nathan Adler Reply

    It’s good to hear Labour are willing to balance the budget because its quite clear the current administration intend to play the blame game but do little about it.

  2. Charles U Farley Reply

    The last time Labour had power they gave it away to the Greens and put us in the mess we now have. Why would anyone trust them with anything?

    • Charles U Farley Reply

      That said… if Labour make a binding pledge to get rid of the financial drain that is the i360, and bring to account those that signed it into existence, they can have my vote.

      • Mark Reply

        It was a labour council that signed off the i360 so do you really think they will make themselves accountable.

        • Billy Short Reply

          No, they voted against it. But were then saddled with the decision, after the Greens and Conservatives voted in favour.

  3. fed-up with brighton politics Reply

    No mention here that Labour would not hike up council tax to the maximum allowed, placing an even bigger and unjustified burden on those who do pay – and who get nothing back in return – to finance the deficits from Green vanity projects that benefited nobody except the demented Greens. Which Labour would quite likely do, as they have no other ideas.

    May I suggest, without any hope of anybody listening, that, whatever the new administration turns out to be next May, they concentrate on establishing an effective scrutiny and overview regime on the council executive and senior officers, because these are the people who have caused the massive overspend and have not delivered the services. Anyone who could do that would get a lot of votes, but, unfortunately, the local party politicians say all this stuff and then don’t deliver when they get elected.

  4. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    People call this a Green administration, as they always refer to whatever form it might be at the time of an Election, but the elected, scandal-ridden Labour administration of 2019 was obliged to step down after two years; with which, the Green Party took up the challenge of running a place where Labour’s antics had swiftly failed it.

    There is a long winter ahead of us all.

    • Benjamin Reply

      Personally, I’d call it a hung council, because that’s what it is. I find the whole identity thing a real barrier to themselves. I’d support anyone who does a good job, regardless of their political persuasion.

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