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Southampton Lib Dems propose 'People's Budget'

February 22, 2018 12:35 PM
By Southampton Liberal Democrats

People's Budget (2018-21)

Portswood Honorary Alderman Adrian Vinson put forward radical Lib Dem alternative proposals at the City Council's budget meeting.

Adrian said: "Labour's budget is yet again conservative and relies on an excessive Council Tax increase. The Conservatives are once again unable to offer a realistic, properly costed budget, while their Government continues to pass the buck to local councils."

The fully costed Lib Dem proposals would be financed by:

● replacing Council Tax subsidies to capital projects with the sale of unwanted assets or borrowing at very favourable rates

● cancelling a vanity IT project

● reducing redundancies

● accelerating efficiency savings

These savings would enable the Lib Dems to:

● re-introduce a Community Champions Team to tackle neighbourhood blight & anti-social behaviour

● enforce against planning breaches

● step up road and pavement repairs

● expand cycleways

● adopt air quality, recycling & renewable energy initiatives

● boost Youth Services

● provide more support for volunteers & voluntary groups

● offer a seasonal, opt in, food waste collection

● tackle pavement parking & cycling

● adopt homelessness initiatives

● promote Restorative Justice

● restore cuts to Environmental Health services

● maintain free District Centre Parking hours

● restore one free bulk waste collection a year

● abolish the charge for 1st parking permits in Residents' Parking Zones (increasing the charge for 2nd permits).

The Lib Dems would also cut Labour's proposed Council Tax increase from 5.99% to 4.99%, a reduction of £14 a year on a Band D property.

Adrian said: "As in previous years, the Liberal Democrat budget proposals are costed to balance for three years.

"This is a value-for-money budget which puts people first, protecting and improving vital services, our neighbourhoods and environment, while cutting the Council Tax increase proposed by Labour."

The Leader of the Council described the Lib Dem proposals as 'a proper costed budget', while the Labour Administration's Cabinet Member for Finance said they were 'the only alternative proposal that made any sense'.