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Liberal Democrat Budget would protect libraries - and freeze Council tax

March 4, 2015 10:28 AM

Councillor Jack CohenLiberal Democrat councillor Jack Cohen proposed an alternative budget at Tuesday's Council meeting, which included a council tax freeze and money to protect the library service.

His proposals included a reduction in director and senior officer posts, a £1,000 cut in councillors' basic allowances, removing all councillors' special responsibility allowances and a reduction in spending on agency and consultancy staff.

Cllr Cohen also proposed reintroducing the neighbourhood skip service, reducing the cost of the mayoralty, scrapping free councillor parking permits and increasing spending on discretionary council tax support.

Cllr Cohen said: "What's it to be, the allowances and the free travel perks or our libraries? A vote for the council budget is a vote for despair and denial."

The Lib Dem councillor also slammed the council tax cut last year as a "futile gimmick" which had proved to be expensive, and criticised the administration for handing more than £100m to Capita.

He added: "This is public money. There's no transparency, no checks and no balances."

Labour did not put forward an alternative budget, and the Conservatives' proposals for £17.3m of cuts were forced through on the Mayor's casting vote.