Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Green alternative budget proposes cutting jobs of top council executives

The Green Party proposes an alternative budget "to reverse cuts, save jobs and introduce sustainable ways of funding the council". One of the funding proposals is to cut top jobs at top level of the council.

Yesterday, Green councillors were blocked from a radical proposal that "the council's four strategic directors, who earn approximately £125,000 each, be removed in favour of increased funding for the Connexions youth careers and advice service which has been subject to major cuts".

Green finance spokesperson Cllr Jason Kitcat said: "However skilled these strategic directors are, they're an expensive layer of management that the council simply cannot afford in the face of the unprecedented cuts the Conservative-led government is imposing on us. We are deeply disappointed we have been blocked by the Tory administration and senior officers from even discussing this proposal. This unwelcome move by the Tories and their appointed, unaccountable bureaucrats makes a mockery of local democracy."

"Our alternative budget would make council spending fairer, reduce the impact of the cuts and improve our position for future years. The Tories nationally are cutting our funding to the bone, while locally they are spending everything they've got in a desperate attempt to win over the electorate this May," said Jason.

"We are doing everything we legally can to minimise harm, set the groundwork for positive future projects and protect public services while voicing our anger at this Conservative-Lib Dem government's callous cuts."

Key items in it include:
* £924,000 of recurring funding being put back into services for Children, Young People & Families including Educational Psychologists and the Connexions careers & advice service.
* £500,000 to kick-start investment in solar panels for council homes and offices, which would create free electricity for tenants and new revenue through the ‘Feed in Tariff' for renewable energy generation.
* £450,000 for a new reserve to deal with the risks of the major changes proposed to services for Adult Social Care and Children, Young People & Families.
* £40,000 to pilot a residential food waste collection scheme.
* £25,000 to fund extra noise patrol shifts in the city.
* £15,000 more in grants to voluntary organisations in the city.
* £26,000 saved from removing catering for meetings councillors attend and £18,000 saved by reforming the system of councillor allowances.

The full Green Alternative Budget can be viewed online at: http://bit.ly/greenbudget

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