Green alternative budget would protect services for most vulnerable

Green Party County Councillors have proposed a budget amendment to Tuesday's Budget meeting which would prevent £10m of cuts to local services. They are calling for a referendum on paying an extra 30p a week to defend these vital services.

Green Councillors have prioritised services for our most vulnerable neighbours including homeless people, the elderly and people with learning disabilities.

Cllr Sam Coates, Deputy Leader of the Green County Council group said:

The scale of the cuts being handed down by Westminster is truly brutal, coming on top of already massive cuts in funding. This means it is simply impractical to deliver services which are fit for purpose, but we do have a choice on whether we protect those for the most vulnerable people in our county.

In our alternative budget we've tried to generate as much extra income as possible to reduce the damage to these services. The only significant way the Council is allowed to do this is by increasing Council Tax. Any increase above 2% needs a local referendum, and we believe it's the right thing to do to ask residents to chip in an extra 30p a week on average to save some of the most vital services.

The proposals include scrapping the planned £1.5m cut to homelessness services, retaining £500,000 in social fund loans to destitute people and returning over £1m to services which help vulnerable older people live independent lives.

Green Party budget proposals at a glance:

  • Restore £3m in funding to Children's Centres.
  • Maintain £2.7m of funding on services for people with learning disabilities.
  • Maintain £140k to maiintain shopping, laundry and meals service for older people.
  • Maintain £600k that helps older people commission the care services they need.
  • Keep £100k of funding for welfare advice services which generate millions in extra benefits for people in need.
  • Fully protect the £1.5 m funding for homelessness services.
  • Reduce the proposed cuts to rural bus and school transport by £1.4m.
  • Retain £90k in funding for local services for refugees.

Full details of the budget amendment can found on the County Council website.

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