BathNES Liberal Democrats
Serving Bath and North East Somerset
Working For You - All Year Round
by B&NES Lib Dems
The listening budget, which was adopted by Council on Tuesday night, prioritises the frontline services that are most important to residents and protects services for the most vulnerable, whilst still achieving a further year of frozen Council tax for all residents. The Liberal Democrats are also prioritising sensible capital investment which will help to support the local economy and provide the conditions for more growth and, ultimately, more jobs for local people.
During the debate, Councillor David Bellotti (Lib Dem. Lyncombe) said:
“We are a listening Council and we have taken notice of representations made through Scrutiny and Cabinet. As a result we are going to accept a proposal that removes the cut in Children’s Centres for this coming year, while asking Cabinet, with advice from Scrutiny, to produce a plan for Children’s Services delivered through Children’s Centres in future years. We will also be accepting a proposal about the toilets in the communities of Larkhall and Weston.”
Four amendments were incorporated into the final text of the budget which was approved by Council.
Tories put Politics Ahead of People
The Conservative group (with one abstention) voted together AGAINST the budget. Despite broad consensus from around the chamber that this was a good budget in difficult times, Conservative Councillors still opted to play political games and vote against.
Cllr Ben Stevens (Lib Dem, Widcombe) said
"The Liberal Democrats work hard to represent the views of our residents and this listening budget was no exception. Times are not easy for residents so we took the decision to freeze council tax, and it’s disappointing to see the Conservatives vote against this measure so clearly designed to help. It was a bizarre spectacle to see Tory Councillors standing up, complimenting our budget, then explaining they wouldn't be voting in favour."
One of the amendments the Liberal Democrats were happy to include in the budget was a twenty-five thousand pound fund to help victims of flood and fire. The fund was to help residents whose homes are no longer habitable pay their Council Tax. This measure was also voted against by the Conservatives when it came to the budget vote.
Cllr Jeremy Sparks (Lib Dem, Clutton) said, "When the floods devastated parts of the Chew Valley and Clutton, the Liberal Democrats were keen to help. In addition to money in the budge to alleviate flooding, we were happy to accept this sensible measure when it was proposed by the Conservatives. I cannot understand why they then voted against it. It's a shame that they have put politics ahead of people in the rural areas, again."
The Bath and North East Somerset Council budget passed with 38 votes for, 25 against and 1 abstention.
More on the budget
Please see our budget page here: http://www.bathlibdems.org.uk/budget