Council budget passed as more Tory cuts hit

On Wednesday the council met to confirm its budget for the coming year.

The cuts to the council under the Tory government reach £138 million next year, and more than 1,500 jobs have already been lost – meaning that the council continues to face huge pressures and difficult decisions.

Labour’s priorities mean that budget provides for:

  • A £12 million increase in the budget for Children’s Services, including funding for more permanent social workers
  • Protecting street cleaning budgets – including the increase we made available last year – plus making some more money available for local priorities and projects
  • Protecting the council’s award winning RiDO team, and standing behind our plan for 10,000 more jobs over the next decade
  • Continuing to try to protect those on the lowest incomes from the worst impact of cuts

Following public concerns, school crossing patrols and the visitor centre will also be protected for another year whilst the council works with schools and other partners to try to secure longer term funding.

At the same time, councillor allowances will be kept at the levels they were cut to last year, and the cost of the town hall will be reduced by more than £50,000.

Labour’s capital programme commits the council to invest a further £10 million in road repairs over the next four year – effectively meaning that the council will spend double the amount it did in 2014 every year for five years. And we have made a commitment in principle to substantial investment in town centre regeneration.

You can read Councillor Chris Read’ budget speech in full by clicking here.

In contrast, the council’s opposition UKIP councillors failed to put forward a single budget amendment or alternative, calling into question how they would deliver the council tax cuts they were promising residents last year. UKIP councillors split three ways on the capital programme, with some voting in favour, some against, and some abstaining.

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