The Greens, whose Leader Cllr Craig Simmons helped shape the City's budget in his role as Chair of the Council's Finance Panel, broadly welcomed the City Council budget but deeply regretted the Council's decision (opposed by the Greens) to put two community facilities up for sale and not to step in to save the threatened Lucy Faithful House homeless hostel.
Says Cllr Simmons:
"This is a financially robust budget, something to be grateful for when we are under such attack from Government, but one which contains a number of measures which the Greens could not support. Our amendment to the budget, voted down by Labour, tried to prevent the sell-off of two community facilities (East Oxford Games Hall and Film Oxford) and save a homeless hostel from closure (Lucy Faithful House). We also sought to increase expenditure on renewable energy and put more money into our grants budget, reflecting the pressure on this budget from cuts to services elsewhere. In addition, the Green proposed the establishment of a £1m 'recirculating fund' to build affordable homes for sale or rent on the open market."
The Greens have pledged to continue to oppose the sell off of community facilities and lobby for the City to build more, affordable homes.
Note that Cllr Craig Simmons received thanks from both Labour and Lib Dem Groups for his work as Chair of the Finance Panel.