Community Group seeks “aspirational” budget next week
Labour Party unimpressed by council self-promotion
THE Community Group on the London Borough of Hounslow wants to deliver an “aspirational” budget that combines low tax with opportunities for increased engagement with residents.
This week the Leader of the Council Peter Thompson announced his intention of delivering a fourth consecutive Council Tax freeze for the year 2010/11. The Community Group, which runs the local authority in coalition with the Conservatives, expressed its delight at being able to present another low tax budget but called upon the administration to be “bold and imaginative” in using available funds to strengthen local democracy and empower communities.
Community Group Leader Phil Andrews commented: “The Leader of the Council deserves a lot of credit for spearheading this administration’s successful efforts to produce a zero increase budget under such difficult circumstances, and it is to his credit that he has taken on board concerns about some of the proposals that were floated in December, and which following discussions have now been withdrawn.
“We are proud to be associated with such an achievement and it is our hope that it will be accompanied by some bold and imaginative measures to direct resources towards empowering our community.
“We want to see an aspirational budget that does something tangible to demonstrate our commitment to strengthening local democracy rather than just cutting tax. We are still discussing a few options and are likely to support the proposals if we can incorporate some of our objectives into the end product.”
Steve Curran – Chair of the Brentford and Isleworth Constituency Labour Party said;
“The Tory council cynical use of tax payers money in a pre-election advertising blitz across the borough is a disgrace. They have abused their position by wasting council taxpapers money claiming they have made savings through their so called “improvement programme” yet wasting it on expensive advertising.
What has been done is to cut services to the most vulnerable, made hundreds of staff redundant. Also, all the while spending millions of pounds on consultancy fees. The banners look like they are straight from Tory central office. The Tory administration has only delivered hardship to our communities followed by cuts in services. What I want to know is how much this has cost the tax payer? “
February 24, 2010