Bristol Liberal Democrats have expressed disappointment as their budget amendment was unanimously voted down by the Labour Council Group. The amendment, which would have diverted funds away from an Armageddon-scenario contingency funding, would have allowed for investment into libraries, parks and schools.
The amendment received cross-party support, with the Conservatives and Greens voting for the progressive policy proposal. But with no Labour councillors rebelling, the amendment was voted down by the majority of the Labour group.
Tim Kent, the Finance Spokesperson for Bristol Liberal Democrats and Councillor for Hengrove and Whitchurch Park, said:
“Our proposal would have put money back into key frontline services: Libraries, Parks and Adult social care. Labour, nationally, has said that austerity is a choice. The Mayor insists he had no options. We offered him a choice and he has spurned it. Today, he decided to choose cuts over services.
“We fundamentally disagreed with the Mayor that £50 million should be borrowed over the next 5 years and held as a capital contingency fund. This contradicts expert advice, it is poor management, poor economics and the wrong choice for this city. That money is not free.”
Anthony Negus, Councillor for Cotham, said:
“Labour had the opportunity to save services in Bristol and have lost their right to blame austerity for all the cuts. If austerity is a choice, it is a choice Labour and the Mayor has made.”