At the Oxford City Council budget debate on Monday, the Liberal Democrat group will propose a set of amendments intended to honour undertakings to community groups which the Labour administration’s proposals have abandoned.
Deputy Leader Stephen Brown says: “We find it unacceptable that Labour should let down those in the city who are most in need of help in these difficult times. The users of our community centres, those in fuel poverty and other financial hardship, and those in fear of crime, are not getting the help from Labour that they deserve. Instead, Labour is proposing a stonking 4.5% increase in Council Tax, which will hit those on low incomes hardest.”
Added Cllr Brown: “Last year, the Lib Dems proposed an increase in council tax of 2% for the financial year 2009/10, and we still think that is the right level. We also want to see the council honour its promises to repair the Covered Market, to keep the Museum of Oxford open, and to maintain area grants for the many valuable community initiatives. We also want to correct the serious effects of new business rates on community centres, and to cancel cuts in the budgets for Street Wardens and Social Inclusion initiatives which Labour wants to make.”
Proposals include cutting the amount of savings that the Museum of Oxford must make next year; this would allow more time for a Trust to be set up to ensure that the Museum has a long term future. This has been an issue that has generated much concern from residents in our Ward.
No single Party has a majority on Oxford City Council. The Labour group is the largest and runs a minority administration, but the combined votes of the opposition parties in council can prevent their budget being adopted. The Liberal Democrat amendments will be debated along with proposals from the Green group at a full council meeting starting at 5 p.m. on Monday 16th February in the Town Hall. Members of the public are welcome to attend