A Bristol Councillor is challenging his fellow city councillors to stand up for their residents and put people before politics at next Tuesdays budget vote at Bristol City Council.
Cllr Tim Kent, the Finance Spokesperson for the Bristol Liberal Democrats, has submitted an amendment which has identified over £10m of funding from development (CIL) forgotten within the Mayor's budget. He has also proposed deleting a £50m capital contingency that the Mayor proposes to fund by borrowing money which would have to be repaid over 50 years at the cost of £2.5m a year. Instead, this would be reinvested into frontline services.
The Mayor’s 5-year budget sees an extraordinary increase in debt, with an additional £390m worth of borrowing. To fund this borrowing, around £20m is being cut from frontline services, including parks and libraries. This cut is on top of the cuts already being imposed by the Conservative Government. This debt represents a huge burden to future generations, with our children and grandchildren left to cope with a 50-year repayment schedule.
Liberal Democrat Councillor, Tim Kent (Hengrove and Whitchurch Park ward), who has the main budget amendment submitted to the Mayor’s budget said:
“People are genuinely worried about the future of their parks, libraries and other local services. My budget amendment will help us protect those services from the worst of the cuts.
“But it requires all of us in the chamber to not let political divisions and party loyalty overcome common sense. It requires all of us to put people before politics.
“On Tuesday I need 36 other councillors to vote with me. If we do this we will see an extra £15m of funding for essential services over the next 5 years which would help stop cuts such as the 17 library closures still planned.
“Councillors can choose on Tuesday to reduce the cuts, protect essential services and put their residents first, or they can simply vote as the Mayor tells them to.”
Labour Mayor Marvin Rees has voiced his opposition to the amendment.
Cllr Kent is urging residents to get involved, by contacting their local councillors and asking them to support the amendment: https://democracy.bristol.gov.uk/mgFindMember.aspx
The budget meeting is being held on Tuesday 20th February starting at 2 pm.