Full Council speech -
08/12/2015 07:52:00......Posted by Sara Bashford
On Monday 7th December Labour called a debate on the budget settlement and I took part. If you want to know what I said, here it is:-
I don’t know about the rest of you but I am fed up with hearing Labour blame everything on the “unexpected” Government budget reductions. Unexpected? No, or only if they have had their heads in the sand for the last few years.
In 2014 the people of Croydon voted for a Labour Council based on a number of promises. At that time we and officers were well aware of the reductions that would be happening to the budget over the next 4 years, so I really don’t understand why they are so surprised, it wasn’t as though we hid it or they won’t able to access the same information. We even knew that whoever won the general election in 2015 the issue would be the same. So let’s be frank what this Labour Administration does with its budget is their choice.
We all have household budget and when income goes down we have to make adjustments and WE decide what we do without. Some people will decide to cut out the Sky TV subscription, others will stop buying take-away’s others will stop using their car and some may have to turn their heating off earlier. We all have to make difficult decisions and that is exactly the same for the Council, so let’s be clear every decision is made by Labour and it is their choice.
Let’s look at their choices and promises.
They promised not to close Libraries and now Cllr Godfrey is saying is will happen, Cllr Collins said he would stop the incinerator and did he No, he said it was too expensive – no more expensive than when he said he would stop it. He also said the borough would be clean and green, but now we know this is not the case the south as without consultation, without a paper to cabinet he has slashed the cleaning of the streets in the South and moved resources to the north, not very fair, open or transparent. Cllr Butler wanted to increase council housing and has she no. Did they say they wouldn’t build on greenbelt, yes and are they proposing it ?– yes in many places.
So let’s look at what they have done they have paid £200k for a Fairness commission, committed £1.5m to make the borough a 20 MPH zone, spent £110K on a bike race and £100k on a festival to name but a few unnecessary choices.
Since they have taken over the decision making in the council, Westfield has been delayed, and they are going to close the Fairfield Halls because they can’t afford the on-going revenue commitment and in the process are putting millions of Council Tax payers money at risk.
So come on Labour take responsibility for your actions. The budget was always going to be difficult no one is denying that, but be honest with residents, don’t whinge and moan make you decision and take responsibility.