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Calls From Lib Dems on City Of York Council's Budget

York council

12:22pm 27th February 2013

A council tax freeze, more money to fix potholes and libraries kept under council control. That's what opposition Lib Dems on York Council are proposing ahead of the city's budget being decided tomorrow.

Cllr Carol Runciman, Liberal Democrat Group Leader on City of York Council, commented:


“These proposals show that there is a positive and affordable alternative to Labour’s continued mismanagement in York. The Labour Budget lacks any clear vision and is instead a hotchpotch of council tax rises, reckless borrowing to fund extravagant city centre spending, and cuts to frontline services.


“Time and again I speak to residents who want the Council to focus on getting right the frontline services that matter to them. Our budget proposal has these people at its heart and would reverse Labour’s damaging cuts to libraries, litter bins, roads and adult social care. It would also rebalance spending across York and give money back to communities to spend on local priorities in their area.


“Labour’s borrow and spend policies, which have seen interest payments increase by over 50% since 2011, are just not sustainable in the long-term. A Council that throws millions of borrowed money at sprucing up the city-centre while cutting care for vulnerable adults, is a Council that has either lost sight of what actually matters to residents or is deliberately inflicting cuts and blaming them on the Coalition Government for electoral gain.”


Cllr Ann Reid, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Transport, commenting on plans to increase investment in roads:


“Labour’s cuts to the roads budget have hit home in recent months with officers admitting that due to the sheer volume of problems they are being forced into ‘quick fix’ and temporary solutions. It is only through prudent long-term investment that we can reverse this decline. Our £500,000 package would not only help residents, but also local businesses and economic development. While Labour throws £100,000 at an Arts Barge and gives a £1million unmonitored ‘slush fund’ to the Council Leader, the Liberal Democrats would invest in the roads and frontline services that matter most to local residents.”


The Liberal Democrat Budget amendments would also invest £50,000 in a council wide ‘Carbon Reduction Plan’ which calls on the Labour Council to develop a programme, based on its revenue and capital programmes, to deliver a 40% carbon dioxide reduction by 2020. The move would follow on from the current plan, introduced by the Lib Dem administration in 2007, which is on track to achieve a 25% carbon reduction across the Council.


The Lib dems are also calling for:

Cut waste and borrowing

Reinstating the salt bins and litter bins which were removed last year.

Make sure the outer areas get equal treatment in funding.

Accept council tax freeze grant.

Boost road repairs budget so potholes are fixed paid for partly by stopping expansion of 20 mph zones.

Keep libraries under city council control by putting more services into them. No closures.

Ditch arts barge.

Not put as much money into reserves.

Eligibility for elderly care to be at "moderate" with an expansion in telecare to help contain costs.

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