The Haringey Liberal Democrats have set out ambitious budget plans to build 100 more council homes, introduce 30 minutes of free parking in town centres and increase recycling.
The opposition politicians have submitted amendments to the Labour run council’s budget, which is due to be decided at a council meeting tomorrow evening (27th) at the Civic Centre in Wood Green.
The Lib Dems have criticised the Labour leadership and said the budget put forward for the council by Labour lacks ambition and innovation. They have also criticised the Labour council for spending massive amounts of taxpayer’s money on agency staff, compensation claims and glossy publicity.
The Lib Dems are proposing to spend more money on recycling and replace old street lighting with new energy efficient street lights that will reduce the council’s energy bill and save carbon.
They also want to reverse some proposals put forward by Labour, including their planned cuts to mobile library services and their proposal to increase the number of big commercial concerts in Finsbury Park.
The Lib Dems also plan to introduce a hardship fund to help local residents who are struggling financially and particularly those who have been hit by the changes to council tax benefit.
The Lib Dem proposals will be paid for in full by:
- Cutting the communications budget
- Reducing the number of council managers
- Sharing services with other councils or other public bodies like the NHS
- Reducing the amount spent on agency staff
- End the automatic re-filling of council job vacancies
Cllr Richard Wilson, Lib Dem Leader, comments:
“Times are tough, but Labour is failing to use what they have been given properly. Our budget proposals show that it is possible to protect some of the most vulnerable people in Haringey even in these difficult times.
“Because the Labour leadership have failed to go out there and learn from other councils, because they have failed to cut waste and reduce unnecessary spending, they have proposed cuts to services like the mobile library that actually don’t need to be made.
“Labour can’t be trusted to run council services properly and they can’t be trusted with the councils’ finances. Time and time again we have seen them caught out because they haven’t done things properly, like the last minute filing of the council’s accounts which cost taxpayers £30,000.
“In contrast we would cut the wastefully spending on agency staff and communications whilst providing a new hardship fund, protecting the environment, supporting our local high streets and building new council homes.”
Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, comments:
“The Haringey Liberal Democrats have set out their alternate vision for how money should be spent and saved in the borough, and it puts the Labour-run council’s plans to shame.
“Despite the tough economic times, Haringey Labour has continued to waste taxpayers’ money on publicity and on covering their own incompetence. We need to protect our key services, to build more homes and to support our retailers – and the Lib Dems have worked out a way to do this without passing the cost on to residents.
“I wish the Haringey Liberal Democrats the best of luck in securing these crucial amendments to this year’s council budget.”