I rise to oppose this budget, a budget of smoke and mirrors, a budget of high borrowing (£57 million) and little innovation, a budget showing at best a lack of understanding of local ambitions but more likely a lack of political leadership and direction.
This Council has two priorities, which I will remind members are stronger Economy and stronger communities, which is under-pinned by the five outcomes within the outcomes framework. Within this framework each outcome states that All people will enjoy/benefit/fulfil etc with the emphasis on all. This is where the smoke and mirrors begin, Cuts to support given to people suffering mental health issues and long-term unemployment in terms of the floral hall cuts.
It also Extracts as much money as feasibly possible from adult social care users. An example is where the chair of scrutiny couldn’t let scrutiny say it was neutral in making recommendations to cabinet, instead used his casting vote to ram home the charges. Just two examples where All people will not benefit/enjoy/ fulfil.
Cuts to family hubs, taking away local amenities at the heart of communities, young people and families won’t be benefiting from this will they. These are not examples of stronger communities in my book mr deputy mayor. Not only smoke and mirrors Mr deputy Mayor but a lack of political leadership, I say that because this budget, as demonstrated, is diametrically opposed to the priorities of the Council, Say one thing yet do another, a heartless way to run an administration. Incidentally Mr deputy Mayor, these priorities were inherited from Labour.
Lack of innovation is also at the very core of this Tory administration In terms of regeneration we see the continuation of the Shipp program the flagship of Labour policy, which obviously we support. However by now we would have developed this even further, yet after two years there is no sign in this budget that there is an intension to do so.
The unique greater grimsby town deal which Labour brokered with the government, Which put this Council at the very top of the pecking order in terms of capital grants and regeneration. Even mentioned in the Governments own economic strategy hasn’t been developed further. In fact the future high street fund grant that has just been granted shows that now we are falling down that pecking order as the Government didn’t award the full amount applied for. I would argue that this is an indictment of the lack of innovation at the centre of this administration, and that the Government recognises this, and is also at the centre of this budget.
In comparison,From 2010 to 2018,the Government cut in real terms the Councils revenue grant by 53.3% This would be a crises in any business, yet the then Labour administration developed policies that innovated council business whilst having to deal with fire fighting the cuts imposed. These included greater grimsby town deal, union board with the CCG. Shipp which is the development of 195hectares of industrial land. we Created over 4500 jobs had ambitions to create 8800 more. Laid foundations to create 9742 more quality homes, which by the way this administration is looking to reduce. This, at the same time that Tory Government policies kicked in to create a massive surge in demand for children’s services, homelessness services, and adult social care, and acknowledging some mistakes happened, whilst dealing with the crises caused by a Tory Government, in terms of sorting out the revenue budget. Innovation, aspiration and ambition was at the centre of everything we did, that’s real leadership delivered by a Labour Council.
So, then what is the undercurrent of this budget, to me it is very clear, Now that the Tories have power they want to cling on to it. This budget is designed not to benefit all as can be seen, it is designed to extract money from the poor and disadvantaged. This budget is all about election success and the Tory party, That is why it is smoke and mirrors,it has a lack of innovation and above all lack of leadership. It is a heartless budget and is not even worth amending.