Green County Budget 2013
17 February 2013
On 19th February 2013, veteran social care campaigner, Green County Councillor Larry Sanders, will be presenting a bold budget amendment to a full meeting of Oxfordshire County Council in a last ditch attempt to reverse £30m of cuts to services for vulnerable people.
A widely respected figure, whose knowledge, passion and oratory has earned him the respect of peers across party benches, it will be Cllr. Sanders last budget as he has announced his retirement from the County Council at the next elections. His County seat will be contested in May by popular local Green City Councillor David Williams: an educationalist and former adviser to Neil Kinnock.
The only party to defy Government guidance, the Greens are proposing a Council tax rise of 3.75% (the same as the Conservative administration are proposing for future years but more than the 2% the Government, and other parties in Oxfordshire, are proposing for 2013/2014. The Government requires that any rise above 2% triggers a referendum that will be run the same time as the elections in May to minimise cost.
The 3.75% rise will cost the average taxpayer just £20 per year (less than the price of a second class stamp each week). The Greens believe that this price is worth paying to protect Oxfordshire's most vulnerable residents from vicious, deep service cuts.
In his speech to Council on 19th February, Cllr Sanders will say:
Over four years we would raise an extra £30million, £24million of which would go directly to Adult Social Care which has borne more than 40% of the service cuts and will hit the most vulnerable the hardest. The remainder would be split between services for children and families, improved benefits advice and advocacy, tackling homelessness, protecting libraries and education. The Greens are also proposing borrowing against the Council's own reserves to repair the County's dangerous roads, safety measures to reduce the rising number of accidents involving cyclists and on domestic energy saving improvements. We believe that the people of the County, faced with the consequences of continued cuts, would choose to pay an extra 40p per week.
The LibDem budget is proposing relative minor additional spending compared with the Green amendment and is accepting the administration's lower Council Tax increase. Shockingly, Labour have not proposed any alternative budget choosing only to write a complaining letter to the Secretary of State and local MPs.
FMI: Cllr Larry Sanders: 01865 244487 / 07900 644590