Cllr Sam Coates, Deputy Leader of the Green Party group on Oxfordshire County Council said:
These budget proposals include unacceptable cuts to adult social care and services for the most vulnerable. I believe it is simply not good enough to wave them through whilst blaming central Government. We have a duty to the people who rely on County Council services, especially the most vulnerable to find alternatives. Crisis loans for destitute people (Social Fund) are being abolished and funding for housing support to homeless people and domestic violence victims is being cut by 40%. This is just a taste of the devastating cuts being put forward. These services are absolutely vital: helping older people live their lives independently, providing children and parents with the support they need and helping the most vulnerable people in our community in crisis situations.
The Green Party’s approach to the County budget will be a 'dented shield' strategy: Redirecting funding to prevent reductions in frontline services for the most vulnerable. But we need to find more sources of funding, as well as looking for new sources of revenue. This means asking residents to chip in a bit more to safeguard essential services for our most vulnerable neighbours.
We are proposing a proposed Council Tax rise of around 4% which means holding a referendum. This would provide an additional £8 million but only cost the average household 80p a week. We believe we have a duty to decide together about whether we are willing to pay more to save essential services, Greens think it's a price worth paying.
FURTHER INFORMATION: Sam Coates, Green Party County Councillor for University Parks, on 075 9000 8249 and <firstname.lastname@example.org>.