At the resumed Budget Council Meeting last night, following the rejection of Labour’s budget at the first asking, Liberal Democrats moved a budget amendment to protect and enhance the role of local communities in decision making by ensuring the current budgets for area committees are not scrapped.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Mark Hunter, Opposition Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “We set out our stall last week that local democracy should be protected and enhanced. Our amendment tonight saw unanimous support and has ensured that each ward has £10,000 a year more for highways schemes and grants to local groups. These make a huge difference to local residents and, in line with a core Liberal Democrat principle, the decision making should remain with local people through their Area Committees.
“Unfortunately the meeting took a bizarre turn as the Conservative Group sought to gain support for a muddled, reckless and ill thought out amendment which would put the council’s future finances at risk. There were several parts which we would have supported but the whole was simply an inappropriate attempt to write their election leaflets, such as throwing away the contingency being put aside for the unknown impact of Brexit. Fortunately the other Groups saw through this and, rightly, all voted the Conservative proposals down.”