A Lib Dem Budget For B&NES

By BathNES Lib Dems 🔶, Mar 12, 2020 12:03

Your Lib Dem Council is investing in local priorities: housing, transport, the climate emergency and putting residents first.

Our ambitious programme includes building the first new Council homes in a generation, creating low traffic neighbourhoods, tackling air pollution and cracking down on litter and fly tipping.

We have allocated significant resources to addressing the climate emergency locally and helping B&NES become carbon neutral by 2030. Some of this money will be used to develop and run a wide-ranging citizens’ engagement process enabling the community to come to a consensus on action.

We are supporting residents’ local priorities with extra money for grass cutting, play equipment and parks, schools and youth centres, road maintenance, cycleways and footpaths.

The Council itself will become more open and transparent. Residents will have more access to information, communication and engagement will be improved and more meetings, such as planning, will be webcast.

Councillor Richard Samuel, Cabinet member for Resources, said that the budget marked a “clear change of direction” for the Council, leaving behind Conservative “slash and burn cuts”, compulsory redundancies and wasteful spending on ill-advised projects.

He added: “We believe our budget is ambitious and optimistic for the future of our area, representing solid investment in the communities we serve and beginning to fulfil the commitments we made to the electorate in May 2019. I look forward to sharing more updates in the future as our projects come to fruition.”

We are proposing a general Council Tax increase of 1.99% and social care precept increase of 1.99% to ensure that public services are protected. Overall, that adds up to a little over £1 extra a week for the typical band D property. Given the scale of the cuts to local government funding by the Conservative government, the increase in Council Tax will ensure that we can deliver high quality services for residents while keeping our finances on a stable footing. 

 

Preparing for the Future – investment plans include:

  • £323k to provide ongoing leadership to the whole of Bath and North East Somerset to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2030 plus an additional £64k boost in 2020/21
  • £25k to improve guidance for residents on energy efficiency

Delivering for local residents – investment plans include:

  • £42k to bring empty homes back into use
  • £119k to improve communication and engagement with residents, including extending webcasting
  • £30k to support research into the development of a sustainable Council House Building programme
  • £100k for additional street cleaning and litter picking
  • £140k for additional litter and fly tipping enforcement
  • £25k for the inspection of food businesses
  • £60k to support the council’s tree and woodland strategy and tree planting

Focussing on Prevention – investment plans include:

  • £152k to support domestic violence and abuse services
  • £100k to increase the number of Approved Mental Health Professionals

The council also proposes to spend £43.6m on new capital projects over the coming year including:

  • £2m to redevelop Bath Studio School to provide local specialist educational provision for children with autism and complex social, emotional mental health needs.
  • £325k in 2020/21 and a further £215 in future years to improve Youth Centres in Radstock, Bath and Southside in Whiteway
  • £400k to repair and improve school buildings
  • £1.1m to provide school places for children from new developments (Funded by CIL Levy)
  • £50k for initial work to mitigate the levels of nitrogen dioxide in the Temple Cloud and Farrington Gurney Air Quality Management areas
  • £200k to support projects such as low traffic neighbourhoods which prioritise pedestrians and cyclists in residential areas
  • £300k to refurbish Bath Library
  • £150k to provide a vehicle for additional winter gritting
  • £250k in 2020/21 and £500k in future years to establish a permanent Heritage Collections Centre in which to house the council’s extensive, internationally significant collections
  • £100k in 2020/21 and £830k in future years for the provision/refurbishment of play equipment in parks
  • £60k for improvements to Haycombe Crematorium including direct access into the crematorium from the lower level.
  • Additional £865k to support the council’s aim of delivering affordable housing and the recovery of empty properties
  • £2.7m in 2020/21 and £8m in future years (subject to WECA grant awards) to improve infrastructure at the Somer Valley Employment Zone
  • £2m for additional highways maintenance
  • £0.6m in 2020/21 and £1.5m in 2021/22 to install protection measures in Bath city centre including vehicle access restrictions in York Street, Lower Borough Walls and Hot Bath Street
  • £150k to deliver cycleways and footpaths across B&NES

 


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