22 February 2017
At today’s Bristol City Council ‘Full Council’ meeting, Bristol’s Green Councillors have said they cannot vote for the Mayor’s budget that will see cuts of £101 million across Bristol, in addition to recent cuts to the NHS, police and school’s budgets.
Commenting on the vote, leader of the Green Councillors, Charlie Bolton, said:
“This budget sees cuts to children’s centres, adult drop-in centres, respite services, community meals provision and school travel. Cuts to tourism bodies, cuts to services to dementia sufferers and cuts to the local crisis and prevention fund – which gives support to those most in need. This budget will dismantle our libraries, dismantle our parks service and dismantle our neighbourhood partnerships. It is a list which is impressive only in the extent of its awfulness.
It is a budget that I obviously have to vote against.”
Councils across the country are facing funding crises due to Tory cuts to local government funding.
Jonathan Bartley, Green Party co-leader, said:
“The Government’s failure to invest in councils has put many in a desperate situation, with no choice but to cut valuable community resources like libraries and youth centres. The Government appears intent on starving local services and bringing almost every local authority close to financial breaking point.”
Green Leader, Cllr Bolton continued:
“What we need, what we have needed for the last several years, is a co-ordinated and concerted campaign to fight these cuts that are harming our communities. We asked the Mayor to show leadership by working with us and the Labour-run core cities across the country to take this fight to government, but as far as we can tell all they did was write a slightly sternly worded letter. We also asked the Mayor to listen to our suggestions for ways in which the budget could be improved, but Labour chose to whip its councillors into voting against every suggested budget amendment from other parties, without even listening to the debate at today’s meeting.”
“I came into politics because I believe in creating a society which is environmentally sustainable and which is socially just. I did not come into politics to vote to cut, cut and cut again.”