Brighton Town Hall
When elected, we promised more openness and democracy. We began with arguably the most important and difficult decisions – those on the city council budget.
We’ve begun publishing annual budget proposals earlier and with more detail so that they can be scrutinised by everyone, ahead of time, and making this transparent to all – other political parties, citizens and the media.
Continuing our desire to be more open and inclusive, we hold regular meetings during the budget setting process with other political parties, unions and community representatives.
As mentioned in the ‘Jobs and businesses’ section, we’ve introduced a Living Wage for council employees. The council pays at least a Living Wage of £7.45 of an hour to all in-house employees and requires a Living Wage option from all bidders for council contracts. All the council’s Home Care contractors have adopted the Living Wage and we hope to roll this out to other providers. As a result we have won formal Living Wage Foundation accreditation.
The council now spends less on senior management than it has in a decade.
We’ve brought down the ratio between the highest and lowest paid council staff to just over 10:1 by significantly reducing the Chief Executive’s salary and increasing the lowest pay grades.
We introduced pilots for Neighbourhood Governance schemes, which support communities to take local decisions with local budgets. The two pilots – in the areas of Hollingdean & Stanmer, Whitehawk and Bristol Estate – are progressing well and the forums are currently exploring options to become self-funding.