Political Groups fight over the council budget
3:45pm 19th January 2012
(Updated 3:46pm 19th January 2012)
Opposition parties have been accused of playing politics on the council's forthcoming budget, instead of preparing their own alternatives.
The charge is made by Labour Leader James Alexander, after the Liberal Democrats complained about a perceived lack of consultation. This is despite a public budget consultation event and independent Fairness Commission consultation sessions on what should be the council's spending priorities.
Coun. Alexander says:
"Coun. Runciman says opposition parties are being prevented from having their say, yet when I asked them for their input in early December, I received no positive responses. This indicates to me that she is only posturing and not interested in preparing a proper budget.
"Indeed, officers tell me that none of the other political parties have yet met them to prepare an alternative budget, which exposes Lib Dem claims as not genuine. Last year in opposition Labour worked closely with officers on alternative proposals from September and this led to Labour reversing £1m of cuts upon taking control in last May".
"It is rich of Coun. Runciman to claim we will be making cuts. On the contrary, it is her Government delivering the cuts, which are falling disproportionately on Local Government. So they are Conservative-Lib Dem cuts to York people, which she can choose to either condemn or accept".
James Alexander has now told Minster FM he's contacted member of the opposition parties with the following email:
From: Cllr. J.Alexander
Sent: 07 December 2011 17:18
To: Cllr. M. Warters; Cllr. C. Runciman; Cllr. A. D'Agorne; Cllr. I.Gillies
Subject: 2012-14 Budget
I am writing
to ask if you have any costed savings or expenditure ideas that you would like
my group to consider as part of the budget setting for 2012-14. I know you may
prefer to put forward an alternative budget or an amendment but the offer from
me is there.
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