Lib Dems on Bath and North East Somerset Council are pressing on with key policy priorities, despite the financial impact of the pandemic, according to B&NES Cabinet member for Resources, Richard Samuel.
Introducing budget proposals for the next financial year to Cabinet yesterday evening, Councillor Samuel said:
“It would have been tempting for some to say: ‘these are tough times, abandon your ideas for saving the planet and its ecology, stop your transport plans, forget building affordable housing for the moment’.
“The Cabinet considered this for no longer than it takes me to do up my shoelaces.
“We are clear that the existential threat that climate change poses must still be tackled, this includes continuing to bear down on carbon emissions from vehicles and taking other carbon reduction measures.
“Our budget also contains a range of measures to help our local economy recover, with emphasis on our high streets, enterprise parks and of course the continuing work on Bath Quays. Our own commercial estate will spearhead this renewal work together with valued partners such as our two outstanding universities.
“We will continue to collaborate and secure funding from the West of England Combined Authority focusing on transport improvements, investment funding for local acquisition and support for our economic recovery plans.
“In addition to these initiatives I have made clear that it is essential to do as much as possible to cushion any financial impacts on our services for children and vulnerable adults.
“2020 was a difficult year and I fully expect 2021 to also be very difficult for the Council’s finances. However, our prompt action to stabilise the Council’s finances last summer, means that we are on track to balance the books and we are still able invest in priority policy areas whilst having the least impact possible on vital public services.”
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