Cllr Geoff Brodie shares this news ahead of this week’s annual budget meeting. Ed
For the 14th consecutive year Isle of Wight Cllr Geoff Brodie (Newport East, Independent Labour) has submitted a Budget amendment to Wednesday’s Full Council.
This is in response to the ruling Conservative group’s own Budget proposal and is in itself subject to prior Officer approval; a new requirement.
Not expecting approval from Tories
In recognition that his amendment will not be approved by the ruling group, Cllr Brodie has limited his proposals this year to trying to lessen the administration’s annual cuts to services for vulnerable older and disabled adults, to family centres, and to support for families with disabled children.
Also he seeks to have the proposed evening parking charges abandoned, which are proving very unpopular in Newport, where he is the Parish Council Chair.
Make use of ASDA money
Cllr Brodie has put together a package of £1.27m reductions in the Conservative budget cuts and fee increases by identifying that around £7.7m of the £17.2m Asda capital receipt has still not been spent on projects agreed two years ago for funding from this receipt.
He argues that this money should be put to good use now, with any subsequent progress on these projects being funded out of very healthy reserves, which apart from the large amount of unspent Asda money amount to £13m. Twice what the Finance Director recommends is required.
Brodie: Tories building up an election war chest
Cllr Brodie said,
“It has always been my view that you cannot complain about Tory budget cuts if you don’t try to propose something as an alternative, whether from inside or outside of the Council. Even if it can only gives a flavour of your broader opposition.
“I know my proposals will be rubbished by the Tories and voted down heavily by their huge majority. However, I am concerned that they are building up an election war chest with reserves that are way over what is required. They prefer to stash away public money for election purposes instead of protecting public services.
“As a socialist I prefer to defend services where possible, rather than leave unchallenged their austerity-driven devastation. Something the Government told us last autumn should have ended by now. Obviously it hasn’t.”