The Conservative-led government is imposing huge cuts to Brighton and Hove’s funding for the fourth year running and the city is facing a £26m budget gap this year. Over the past four years the coalition government has cut funding for our city services by a frightening 32% in cash terms.
Deputy Leader of the Council Ruth Buckley attacks this cruel agenda: “Austerity just is not working; food bank usage is on the rise, public services are being decimated, people in the rental sector are paying huge proportions of their wage for a roof over their head and many cannot afford to heat their homes sufficiently in these cold months.
“There has been a steady erosion of living standards throughout the UK due to austerity measures and this leads to residents relying upon council services. The same services the government is drastically slashing.”
Brighton and Hove Green Party Chair Tom Druitt joins the protest:
“The Government is behaving totally immorally by cutting funding for local councils while at the same time telling us the economy is improving. This is not about the money, it’s an ideological attack on local democracy where the very foundations of people’s lives are being put at risk and it’s about time we said ‘No, we’re not going to take it any more.'”
Green lead member for finance, Ollie Sykes agrees:
“Unlike other parties in the city, the Greens are squaring up to the devastation that could be caused this year by the sheer enormity of Government cuts to our city, which not only threaten a reduction in general council services but risk scores of redundancies and a significant reduction in care for the elderly, children, people with physical and mental disabilities and everyone on benefits. They are cuts which endanger people’s livelihoods and well-being and could ultimately cost lives, as well as defeating and destroying local democracy.
“Our party has been discussing the impact of all this and has decided enough is enough. Party members have vowed to campaign against austerity and to demand that the government reinstate the financial support it is withdrawing, and has requested councillors not to vote for any council budget containing further cuts.
“This discussion is part of an open and democratic process leading to budget day on February 26th. It is very different to that of other parties, where such decisions are made by a few behind closed doors. It will be continuing with extensive public consultations and further discussions until budget day, when our councillors, who are not whipped to follow a single party line but who are free to vote with their consciences, will enter the council chamber and cast their votes. It’s an open, democratic process that’s very different to the way other parties do things. It’s a process we’re proud of, whereby we strive to do what’s best for the city and its people.”
Green Party candidate Richard Stanton, helping to organise the Green campaign to protect local services, said:
“Shamefully backed by Labour’s Ed Balls, the Tory Government aims to push Brighton and Hove over a financial cliff.
With local people, Greens will campaign for as long as it takes to win back the resources they’re stealing from our city.”
Join our city-wide campaign: www.ourcityourfuture.org.uk
For more information please contact the Brighton and Hove Green Party office on 01273 766 670.