Westminster Labour unveils budget to tackle Cost of Living crisis and improve front-line services

Labour’s Westminster Councillors have unveiled a budget to tackle the Cost of Living crisis and improve front-line services. Labour’s budget will be voted on at the Council meeting on 5th March.

Labour will cut out over £4 million of waste at City Hall and redirect the extra money to helping residents tackle the ‘cost of living’ crisis. Labour’s budget for 2014/15 will;

• Freeze the Council Tax
• Reduce the proposed 4.5% Council rents rise to no higher than inflation – 1.9%
• Limit the rise in school meals and sports and leisure charges to no more than inflation
• Keeping the cost of a Residents’ Parking permit linked to inflation

Labour will;

• Save £3 million a year by cutting the amount spent on temporary agency staff
• Save £1 million a year by cutting the Council’s public relations budget, including scrapping the ‘Westminster Reporter’
• Save £74,000 a year by axing payments to Deputy Cabinet Members and Vice-chairmen of Policy and Scrutiny committees
• Save £30,000 a year by cutting the amount paid to members of Westminster Scrutiny Commission
• Save £20,000 a year by cutting the amount spent by the Lord Mayor on hospitality

In addition, Labour will;

• Cut the cost of back-office services by working with other boroughs to share services – computers, legal, HR, payroll
• Nominate a Councillor to act as ‘Waste Cutting Czar’ to scrutinise all new Council appointments and new expenditure proposals
• Increase the Council Tax to 150% on long-term empty homes to get more empty homes back into use
• Press for more Council Tax ‘bands’ at the higher end so that those who are able to pay more towards Council services can do so

Labour proposes to re-invest £4,092,000 of savings on the following front-line items:

• £750,000 on supporting local Sure Start Children’s Centres so young children and their families have the best start in life
• £750,000 on introducing more after school and school holiday activities for teenagers, particularly new sports coaching in schools and in the community.
• £750,000 on a more caring, ‘wrap-around’ provision for adult social services to help older people to sort out problems, discuss concerns with and provide ‘real care’.
• £400,000 on additional work with vulnerable teenagers through additional specialist youth workers and additional diversionary activities.
• £992,000 on the London Living Wage to be paid to staff working for Council contractors
• £100,000 on increased street sweeping
• £100,000 on repairing pot holes quicker,
• £100,000 on tackling noise and air pollution
• £100,000 on more recycling points, making it easier for residents and businesses to recycle
• £50,000 on consultation with residents on introducing 20mph speed limits on residential roads

Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group; said;

“We support a Council Tax freeze. Low and middle income Westminster residents have been hit hard enough by a Conservative Government and Conservative Council without piling on more pressure. We have identified over £4 million of City Hall waste and we will use this money to re-invest in front line services. These proposals would offer hope and deliver real improvements to the quality of life of Westminster residents.”

This entry was posted in Cost of Living and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Westminster Labour unveils budget to tackle Cost of Living crisis and improve front-line services

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.