Terry's Thoughts: Pay more get less

 Pay more get less - Conservative message to Gloucester taxpayers
As I reported in my last blog more cuts are on the way for Gloucester City Council taxpayers over the next few years. The Council has recently published its Money Plan for the years 2019 – 2024 and it does not make good reading for hard pressed council taxpayers. In order to balance the books, the Council will have to make further cuts of £353,000 next year, £151,000 in 2020/21, £298,000 in 2021/22 and £93,000 in 2022/23. In addition to this they propose to transfer £1,000,000 from reserves in 2020/21 to offset likely changes in government funding formula and review of business rates baseline. And it doesn’t end there council tax will rise by 3% a year for the next 5 years! The position under the Tories is pay more get less. Clearly there is no end to austerity in Gloucester.


Council meeting 22nd November 2018
The last Council meeting of the year was an odd affair with only one formal item of business (which was not debated) and the meeting was dominated by Notices of Motion. The labour Group submitted 3 motions.


Our first motion called for an end to austerity and the reversal of cuts to local government. This motion was defeated with both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats voting against. What was particularly amusing was the Liberals claiming they couldn’t support our motion because it was “too political”, I kid you not. Probably not surprising as they were reminded of their role in supporting austerity and cuts as part of the coalition government.


Our second motion sought to introduce parental leave for councillors bringing us into line with best practice across the country. This was unanimously accepted by the Council following a small inconsequential amendment.


Our final motion sought to protect Greyfriars bowling green in the heart of the City from being built on in the future. The Tories are proposing to develop the site including Aviation Gardens to finance a future refurbishment of the indoor market. Our motion whilst not opposing some development of the area sought to have the actual bowling green designated green public open space preserved for community use and specifically would have banned building on it.

 

The Conservative amendment has paved the way for the possible redevelopment of the green in the future. I have to say that watching Westgate Conservative councillors squirm as they said they would fight to protect the bowling green in the future (including asking for an adjournment at one stage), and then voting with the Tory whip was not an edifying sight. Saying one thing and voting for another is somewhat hypocritical in my view.

 

Terry Pullen is the Leader of the Labour Group of Councillors at Gloucester City Council.
This is part of a series of regular blogs which focus on events at the Council.

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