…..as Green Councillors and Tory turncoat vote through massive cuts in public services
The Labour budget was tonight passed as once again the 2 Green Councillors sided with Labour.
On this occasion they were joined by Cllr Watt who was elected in 2011 as a Conservative for the Skelton area. He supported a budget which will cripple public services in the City while continuing to prioritise “vanity” projects paid for by a large increase in borrowing. It was a truly astonishing policy somersault.
The only significant “concession” that the Greens won in return for their votes was a promise to provide a “free” bus service between the station and the hospital. The £150,000 cost will be paid for by another big increase in car parking charges in central York (by 10p per hour).
NB. Bus passengers can currently use the number 1 or 6 to get from the station to the hospital, although the passengers numbers using this link are modest
The Greens rapidly diminishing credibility took another battering as they voted for a cuts package which includes so called “rewiring savings”. These will see basic public services like grass cutting, street sweeping and community centres hit hard.
Labour plan to charge for emptying all green bins and have supported reducing grey bin emptying frequencies to once very 3 or 4 weeks.
The Greens also voted to spend even less than Labour proposed on dealing with icy roads in winter.
The only really original proposal put to the meeting – the plan aimed at regenerating York’s deteriorating housing estates – failed to get majority support.
However there is every chance that after the local elections on May 7th, the new Labour/Green coalition will be thrown out.
This will allow the new Council to rejig the budget if it chooses to do so.