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Green Councillors call for more autonomy to be given on how to spend budgets

Councillors Lauren McClay and Ian Poyser wrote:

“Yesterday Plymouth City Council passed a difficult budget.

No one wants to pay more Council Tax. You are paying more because of Conservative failures.

The Conservative government has purged 60p in every £1 in Plymouth’s public purse since 2010, seeing our Revenue Support Grant freefall from £123.8 million to £12.3 million. This cut has devastating consequences to the services we care the most about, like health, education and transport. But it is perhaps most noticeable in the areas we used to take for granted, like grass cutting, bins, potholes and parks. These services have been pushed beyond breaking point due to the cuts passed down by the Conservative government.

Earlier this week we saw Jeremy Hunt’s budget do nothing to help put money back into your pockets or help local councils deliver essential services we all depend on.

Locally, the picture is equally bleak. This budget goes some way to clean up the mess left by the previous Conservative Council administration, finally properly funding Children’s services.

But like councils across the country, we have continued to see big increases in our costs and rising demand for homelessness and social care services for the elderly, vulnerable adults and children – around 73% of our total revenue budget goes towards these vital services, which must be funded.”

Cllr Lauren McLay says: “To lower council tax and deliver local services that work for local people, we need the government to act. This starts by returning our Revenue Support Grant to pre-2010 levels, adjusted for inflation.”

Cllr Ian Poyser says: “During budget scrutiny we asked for more autonomy to be given to local councillors on how to spend budgets. We believe this allows Councillors to focus investment where it is most needed in their ward, like for us here in Chaddlewood.”

“We’re pleased that the Living Streets fund has been reintroduced. This will enable us to push forward with plans to improve inclusive travel in the Chaddlewood, with the addition of drop kerbs and traffic islands planned for after May.

As your Green Councillors, we are working hard to undo years of underinvestment in Chaddlewood. This year we have made our Community Grant go further by multiplying £4000 into almost £14,000 of investment for projects in Chaddlewood. We have held developers to account, delivering essential safety works at St Maurice View at no cost to the taxpayer.”