Green Brighton councillor to vote against party's own budget

The Argus: Ben Duncan Ben Duncan

A Green Brighton councillor has vowed to reject his own party’s budget plans which will see the elderly and vulnerable hit hardest.

Brighton and Hove City Council must find £22.5 million from its 2014/15 budget as the government spending squeeze continues.

Just days after its Green minority administration revealed the details, Ben Duncan, who represents Queen’s Park, said he would be voting against the plan.

Speaking at a meeting on how to resist austerity and campaign against the cuts, he urged other Green and Labour politicians to join him in rejecting the proposal.

It came as union activists warned there could be strike action over the cuts in the coming months.

Coun Duncan praised the fair and environmental principles which fellow Greens had applied when setting the budget.

However, he said: “We’re already seeing the impact of these cuts locally and it’s only going to get worse until local authorities say enough is enough and we’re not going to accept this.

“We need to start that movement in Brighton and Hove as people elected the Greens on an anti-cuts platform.”

About 50 people attended the public meeting on Sunday.

In addition to Coun Duncan, six other Green councillors were present – Rob Jarrett, Liz Wakefield, Ruth Buckley, Alex Phillips, Mike Jones and Phelim MacCafferty.

Coun Duncan said he did not expect to be the only councillor to reject the budget.

The budget plans includes £6 million taken out of adult social care and £4.7 million from children’s services.

This could see care taken away from all but the neediest, care homes closed and disabled workers lose their jobs.

At the meeting, members of the public spoke of their fears that people with learning disabilities, older people, children in need of support and people at risk of homelessness will suffer as a result of the funding cuts proposed.

Andy Richards, chairman of Brighton and Hove Unison, said: “The cuts to the council budget proposed over the next four years threaten to destroy basic services which ordinary people rely on.”

A further meeting will take place in January before a decision on the budget is taken by all 54 councillors at its meeting on February 27.

For more details visit www.brightonpa.org.uk.

Comments (28)

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8:24am Tue 3 Dec 13

Quiterie says...

It's all fine and dandy Ben Duncan voting against his own party's budget, but where's his alternative budget? He can't just throw his toys out of the pram unless he can come up with realistic alternatives. That's not how politics works I'm afraid.
It's all fine and dandy Ben Duncan voting against his own party's budget, but where's his alternative budget? He can't just throw his toys out of the pram unless he can come up with realistic alternatives. That's not how politics works I'm afraid. Quiterie

8:42am Tue 3 Dec 13

Sussex jim says...

What's wrong with the Greens' budget? They are giving the old and vunerable in Queens Park the opportunity to cycle more safely into town, along Edward Street.
What's wrong with the Greens' budget? They are giving the old and vunerable in Queens Park the opportunity to cycle more safely into town, along Edward Street. Sussex jim

9:04am Tue 3 Dec 13

Crystal Ball says...

What a gormless fool. People don't forget the idiocy of Duncan on previous occasions...
What a gormless fool. People don't forget the idiocy of Duncan on previous occasions... Crystal Ball

10:56am Tue 3 Dec 13

BeeJam says...

oh. my god.

This council are utterly unbelievable.

They are happy to squander millions on 20mph zones, hairbrained and dangerous bus/cycle lanes, filling in bowling greens, mowing paths to caravans on illegal traveller encampments and using £70kpa sheep 'grass cutters', and then propose cuts of similar millions from services that support the most vulnerable in our society.

This has gone beyond a joke. These smarmy, condescending and selfish loonies need to go NOW.

What planet are these idiots living on? Can't they see how absurd, hateful and destructive their minority-led actions are to the general population?

I have NEVER felt so much anger towards a local party before.

GREENS OUT NOW.
oh. my god. This council are utterly unbelievable. They are happy to squander millions on 20mph zones, hairbrained and dangerous bus/cycle lanes, filling in bowling greens, mowing paths to caravans on illegal traveller encampments and using £70kpa sheep 'grass cutters', and then propose cuts of similar millions from services that support the most vulnerable in our society. This has gone beyond a joke. These smarmy, condescending and selfish loonies need to go NOW. What planet are these idiots living on? Can't they see how absurd, hateful and destructive their minority-led actions are to the general population? I have NEVER felt so much anger towards a local party before. GREENS OUT NOW. BeeJam

11:27am Tue 3 Dec 13

TrevorA says...

Comrade "Wolfie" Duncan and his cronies from the Hanover/Queens Park Popular Front continue to confirm what many people have suspected for a long time. Mad as march hares springs to mind.
Comrade "Wolfie" Duncan and his cronies from the Hanover/Queens Park Popular Front continue to confirm what many people have suspected for a long time. Mad as march hares springs to mind. TrevorA

11:46am Tue 3 Dec 13

NickBrt says...

As long as smash edl, travellers and noisy students aren't inconvenienced by the budget its fine.
As long as smash edl, travellers and noisy students aren't inconvenienced by the budget its fine. NickBrt

11:48am Tue 3 Dec 13

Valerie Paynter says...

Cllr Jarrett is Chair of Adult Social Care and presumably responsible for signing off the recommendations of HIS officers. So he can't vote against that bit can he.

Wondering about the cost incurred by BHCC and how much work time was devoted to the complaint against Cllr Barnett over golliwogs by The Black and Minority Ethnic Workers' Forum officers, their admin support and two other officers, along with the council tenant's complaint. Officer time went into that. A lot of officer time. Plus agenda writing time. Convening of the Standards Panel time. Various emailings between officers on the subject took working hours time. Cost of producting the meeting agenda. Cost of reconvening the meeting in future which had to be postponed when Cllr Banett fell down the stairs....etc. They didn't give a fig about what they were costing the council did they? Just looked to score points and piously puff themselves up. Spuriously.

How many of these workers forums does BHCC support? With admin support? What is the cost to the taxpayer of those? And should their branches be pruned?
Cllr Jarrett is Chair of Adult Social Care and presumably responsible for signing off the recommendations of HIS officers. So he can't vote against that bit can he. Wondering about the cost incurred by BHCC and how much work time was devoted to the complaint against Cllr Barnett over golliwogs by The Black and Minority Ethnic Workers' Forum officers, their admin support and two other officers, along with the council tenant's complaint. Officer time went into that. A lot of officer time. Plus agenda writing time. Convening of the Standards Panel time. Various emailings between officers on the subject took working hours time. Cost of producting the meeting agenda. Cost of reconvening the meeting in future which had to be postponed when Cllr Banett fell down the stairs....etc. They didn't give a fig about what they were costing the council did they? Just looked to score points and piously puff themselves up. Spuriously. How many of these workers forums does BHCC support? With admin support? What is the cost to the taxpayer of those? And should their branches be pruned? Valerie Paynter

12:03pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Stop Mithering says...

Congrats on the award Tim Ridgway
Congrats on the award Tim Ridgway Stop Mithering

12:05pm Tue 3 Dec 13

mrroddis says...

This is an impressive stand by Cllr Duncan. We shouldn't accept these huge cuts coming to the local budget, the reason for these cuts is reckless behaviour by bankers in the City of London.

Brighton and Hove shouldn't suffer because the National Government are paying for the banks' mistakes.
This is an impressive stand by Cllr Duncan. We shouldn't accept these huge cuts coming to the local budget, the reason for these cuts is reckless behaviour by bankers in the City of London. Brighton and Hove shouldn't suffer because the National Government are paying for the banks' mistakes. mrroddis

12:14pm Tue 3 Dec 13

greenhousedani says...

Congratulations to Cllr Duncan on taking this stand in support of local residents who will suffer greatly if this budget goes through. I hope more Green and Labour councillors take the same decision, rather than continuing to do the dirty work of this government of millionaires.

mrroddis is absolutely right - people with learning disabilities, older people, people with mental health problems and children in need of social work support should not be the ones to suffer because of the greed of Osborne and Cameron's mates in the banking sector.

Brighton & Hove residents who want to join in the campaign against these cuts can find out more at www.brightonpa.org.u
k
Congratulations to Cllr Duncan on taking this stand in support of local residents who will suffer greatly if this budget goes through. I hope more Green and Labour councillors take the same decision, rather than continuing to do the dirty work of this government of millionaires. mrroddis is absolutely right - people with learning disabilities, older people, people with mental health problems and children in need of social work support should not be the ones to suffer because of the greed of Osborne and Cameron's mates in the banking sector. Brighton & Hove residents who want to join in the campaign against these cuts can find out more at www.brightonpa.org.u k greenhousedani

12:52pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Rearrangethedeckchairs says...

I am not a Green supporter or voter, and do think they have done some daft things, sometimes out of good intentions or naivety but the massive cuts are a result of Central Government taking away £100 Million from us here over the next four years. It is not feasible to set an illegal budget I don't think so can I suggest Labour and Tories form a coalition, first Lab-Tory pact ever and come up with their alternative budget and run the council between them as they spend all their time saying everything is theGreens fault. I am not Ukip either- as mad Maggie might have said - you kip if you want to I am staying awake. I am sort of a one person coalition of Labour/Monster Raving Loony Party
I am not a Green supporter or voter, and do think they have done some daft things, sometimes out of good intentions or naivety but the massive cuts are a result of Central Government taking away £100 Million from us here over the next four years. It is not feasible to set an illegal budget I don't think so can I suggest Labour and Tories form a coalition, first Lab-Tory pact ever and come up with their alternative budget and run the council between them as they spend all their time saying everything is theGreens fault. I am not Ukip either- as mad Maggie might have said - you kip if you want to I am staying awake. I am sort of a one person coalition of Labour/Monster Raving Loony Party Rearrangethedeckchairs

12:56pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Mark63 says...

How much would we save if we stopped paying all Councillors for the next 2 years? I'm sure the place would run much better without them and we could all get on with our lives and avoid the weekly (weakly?) crack-pot ideas. Motion carried?
How much would we save if we stopped paying all Councillors for the next 2 years? I'm sure the place would run much better without them and we could all get on with our lives and avoid the weekly (weakly?) crack-pot ideas. Motion carried? Mark63

1:44pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Warren Morgan says...

Mark63 wrote:
How much would we save if we stopped paying all Councillors for the next 2 years? I'm sure the place would run much better without them and we could all get on with our lives and avoid the weekly (weakly?) crack-pot ideas. Motion carried?
The cost of councillors was covered here: http://www.theargus.
co.uk/news/10619384.
Councillors_cost_eac
h_one_of_us___3_15/

If you don't pay councillors you return to the days when only wealthy, retired people stood. If you want an even less representative group of people making the decisions about how the city is run then that's one way of doing it.
[quote][p][bold]Mark63[/bold] wrote: How much would we save if we stopped paying all Councillors for the next 2 years? I'm sure the place would run much better without them and we could all get on with our lives and avoid the weekly (weakly?) crack-pot ideas. Motion carried?[/p][/quote]The cost of councillors was covered here: http://www.theargus. co.uk/news/10619384. Councillors_cost_eac h_one_of_us___3_15/ If you don't pay councillors you return to the days when only wealthy, retired people stood. If you want an even less representative group of people making the decisions about how the city is run then that's one way of doing it. Warren Morgan

1:53pm Tue 3 Dec 13

NickBtn says...

greenhousedani wrote:
Congratulations to Cllr Duncan on taking this stand in support of local residents who will suffer greatly if this budget goes through. I hope more Green and Labour councillors take the same decision, rather than continuing to do the dirty work of this government of millionaires.

mrroddis is absolutely right - people with learning disabilities, older people, people with mental health problems and children in need of social work support should not be the ones to suffer because of the greed of Osborne and Cameron's mates in the banking sector.

Brighton & Hove residents who want to join in the campaign against these cuts can find out more at www.brightonpa.org.u

k
Most people oppose cuts - but what is the alternative?

Are you suggesting that everyone pays more council tax? If so, to stop the cuts that's around £100 extra for every person in Brighton and Hove - so a family of 4 would need to pay around £400 a year extra. How will they afford this?
[quote][p][bold]greenhousedani[/bold] wrote: Congratulations to Cllr Duncan on taking this stand in support of local residents who will suffer greatly if this budget goes through. I hope more Green and Labour councillors take the same decision, rather than continuing to do the dirty work of this government of millionaires. mrroddis is absolutely right - people with learning disabilities, older people, people with mental health problems and children in need of social work support should not be the ones to suffer because of the greed of Osborne and Cameron's mates in the banking sector. Brighton & Hove residents who want to join in the campaign against these cuts can find out more at www.brightonpa.org.u k[/p][/quote]Most people oppose cuts - but what is the alternative? Are you suggesting that everyone pays more council tax? If so, to stop the cuts that's around £100 extra for every person in Brighton and Hove - so a family of 4 would need to pay around £400 a year extra. How will they afford this? NickBtn

2:56pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Martha Gunn says...

What is the point of the Veganista?

He shirks all responsibility and yet continues to take the Council Tax payer's shilling.

The Greens are a disgrace to local government.

Roll on 2015!
What is the point of the Veganista? He shirks all responsibility and yet continues to take the Council Tax payer's shilling. The Greens are a disgrace to local government. Roll on 2015! Martha Gunn

3:01pm Tue 3 Dec 13

musesboy says...

Brighton Council aren't alone in having to make cuts. They have no choice. If any of you can come up with a better scheme then I'm sure the council would like to hear it.

Money spent on infrastructure is ring-fenced as I understand it and can't be used for anything else so no use in complaining about money spend on cycle lanes and the like.

The Tories and Labour could stop this if they wanted to but they must realise there is very little choice. Cuts will have to made. Where will you make them?
Brighton Council aren't alone in having to make cuts. They have no choice. If any of you can come up with a better scheme then I'm sure the council would like to hear it. Money spent on infrastructure is ring-fenced as I understand it and can't be used for anything else so no use in complaining about money spend on cycle lanes and the like. The Tories and Labour could stop this if they wanted to but they must realise there is very little choice. Cuts will have to made. Where will you make them? musesboy

3:05pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Warren Morgan says...

Some facts - the biggest areas of spending for BHCC are adult social care £112m, childrens social care £50m, schools £36m, housing £36m and highways £35m.

Housing is paid for via rents, the budget for the rest is made up of fees and charges 32%, council tax 28%, government funding 21%, business rates 14%. The council cannot increase council tax by more than 2%, and scope for additional business rates (which the govt takes half of anyway) is limited as we don't have lots of large shops, factories, out of town retail parks etc (it is calculated o floorspace).

The council is having it's central government funding cut by £24.8m in 2014/15, another £26m the following year, another £24.6m the year after that, and another £22m the year after that. That's £100m less to spend in 2017 than we have now. And don't forget that social care takes up 40% of our current budget - looking after older people, people with disabilities and long term medical conditions and so on.
Some facts - the biggest areas of spending for BHCC are adult social care £112m, childrens social care £50m, schools £36m, housing £36m and highways £35m. Housing is paid for via rents, the budget for the rest is made up of fees and charges 32%, council tax 28%, government funding 21%, business rates 14%. The council cannot increase council tax by more than 2%, and scope for additional business rates (which the govt takes half of anyway) is limited as we don't have lots of large shops, factories, out of town retail parks etc (it is calculated o floorspace). The council is having it's central government funding cut by £24.8m in 2014/15, another £26m the following year, another £24.6m the year after that, and another £22m the year after that. That's £100m less to spend in 2017 than we have now. And don't forget that social care takes up 40% of our current budget - looking after older people, people with disabilities and long term medical conditions and so on. Warren Morgan

3:23pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Idontbelieveit1948 says...

musesboy wrote:
Brighton Council aren't alone in having to make cuts. They have no choice. If any of you can come up with a better scheme then I'm sure the council would like to hear it.

Money spent on infrastructure is ring-fenced as I understand it and can't be used for anything else so no use in complaining about money spend on cycle lanes and the like.

The Tories and Labour could stop this if they wanted to but they must realise there is very little choice. Cuts will have to made. Where will you make them?
Well as a start council employees could start moving towards funding their own pensions like just about everybody else has to and then the 25 - 30 % of everyone's council tax which gets paid into their pension fund could be redirected into some of these areas.

Obviously you can't just pull the plug but private companies have virtually closed down these type of schemes, either partially or totally, and moved the burden to their employees. Why should public employees be any different - after all stats show they earn more on average than private employees anyway.
[quote][p][bold]musesboy[/bold] wrote: Brighton Council aren't alone in having to make cuts. They have no choice. If any of you can come up with a better scheme then I'm sure the council would like to hear it. Money spent on infrastructure is ring-fenced as I understand it and can't be used for anything else so no use in complaining about money spend on cycle lanes and the like. The Tories and Labour could stop this if they wanted to but they must realise there is very little choice. Cuts will have to made. Where will you make them?[/p][/quote]Well as a start council employees could start moving towards funding their own pensions like just about everybody else has to and then the 25 - 30 % of everyone's council tax which gets paid into their pension fund could be redirected into some of these areas. Obviously you can't just pull the plug but private companies have virtually closed down these type of schemes, either partially or totally, and moved the burden to their employees. Why should public employees be any different - after all stats show they earn more on average than private employees anyway. Idontbelieveit1948

3:38pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Quiterie says...

Warren Morgan wrote:
Some facts - the biggest areas of spending for BHCC are adult social care £112m, childrens social care £50m, schools £36m, housing £36m and highways £35m.

Housing is paid for via rents, the budget for the rest is made up of fees and charges 32%, council tax 28%, government funding 21%, business rates 14%. The council cannot increase council tax by more than 2%, and scope for additional business rates (which the govt takes half of anyway) is limited as we don't have lots of large shops, factories, out of town retail parks etc (it is calculated o floorspace).

The council is having it's central government funding cut by £24.8m in 2014/15, another £26m the following year, another £24.6m the year after that, and another £22m the year after that. That's £100m less to spend in 2017 than we have now. And don't forget that social care takes up 40% of our current budget - looking after older people, people with disabilities and long term medical conditions and so on.
Some more facts Warren.......

Between 1997 and 2010, the UK saw the largest increase in public spending as a share of national income of any industrialised country. We rose from 22nd out of 28 to sixth, with spending increasing by 4.4 per cent per year in real terms. The tax take fluctuated in a narrow band of 36.2-38.7 per cent of GDP but state spending jumped from 34.6 per cent of GDP in 2000 to 47.4 per cent in 2010 on Treasury figures. Almost half this increase (6.2 points of the 12.8 per cent of GDP total) had occurred by 2005, two years at least before the start of the economic crisis. The economy was disastrously mismanaged by Labour and Britain still hasn’t recovered fully.

That's why we still need cuts today.
[quote][p][bold]Warren Morgan[/bold] wrote: Some facts - the biggest areas of spending for BHCC are adult social care £112m, childrens social care £50m, schools £36m, housing £36m and highways £35m. Housing is paid for via rents, the budget for the rest is made up of fees and charges 32%, council tax 28%, government funding 21%, business rates 14%. The council cannot increase council tax by more than 2%, and scope for additional business rates (which the govt takes half of anyway) is limited as we don't have lots of large shops, factories, out of town retail parks etc (it is calculated o floorspace). The council is having it's central government funding cut by £24.8m in 2014/15, another £26m the following year, another £24.6m the year after that, and another £22m the year after that. That's £100m less to spend in 2017 than we have now. And don't forget that social care takes up 40% of our current budget - looking after older people, people with disabilities and long term medical conditions and so on.[/p][/quote]Some more facts Warren....... Between 1997 and 2010, the UK saw the largest increase in public spending as a share of national income of any industrialised country. We rose from 22nd out of 28 to sixth, with spending increasing by 4.4 per cent per year in real terms. The tax take fluctuated in a narrow band of 36.2-38.7 per cent of GDP but state spending jumped from 34.6 per cent of GDP in 2000 to 47.4 per cent in 2010 on Treasury figures. Almost half this increase (6.2 points of the 12.8 per cent of GDP total) had occurred by 2005, two years at least before the start of the economic crisis. The economy was disastrously mismanaged by Labour and Britain still hasn’t recovered fully. That's why we still need cuts today. Quiterie

3:58pm Tue 3 Dec 13

mrroddis says...

Quiterie wrote:
Warren Morgan wrote:
Some facts - the biggest areas of spending for BHCC are adult social care £112m, childrens social care £50m, schools £36m, housing £36m and highways £35m.

Housing is paid for via rents, the budget for the rest is made up of fees and charges 32%, council tax 28%, government funding 21%, business rates 14%. The council cannot increase council tax by more than 2%, and scope for additional business rates (which the govt takes half of anyway) is limited as we don't have lots of large shops, factories, out of town retail parks etc (it is calculated o floorspace).

The council is having it's central government funding cut by £24.8m in 2014/15, another £26m the following year, another £24.6m the year after that, and another £22m the year after that. That's £100m less to spend in 2017 than we have now. And don't forget that social care takes up 40% of our current budget - looking after older people, people with disabilities and long term medical conditions and so on.
Some more facts Warren.......

Between 1997 and 2010, the UK saw the largest increase in public spending as a share of national income of any industrialised country. We rose from 22nd out of 28 to sixth, with spending increasing by 4.4 per cent per year in real terms. The tax take fluctuated in a narrow band of 36.2-38.7 per cent of GDP but state spending jumped from 34.6 per cent of GDP in 2000 to 47.4 per cent in 2010 on Treasury figures. Almost half this increase (6.2 points of the 12.8 per cent of GDP total) had occurred by 2005, two years at least before the start of the economic crisis. The economy was disastrously mismanaged by Labour and Britain still hasn’t recovered fully.

That's why we still need cuts today.
How much of that increase came from bailing out the bankers? That skews the figures a lot.
[quote][p][bold]Quiterie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Warren Morgan[/bold] wrote: Some facts - the biggest areas of spending for BHCC are adult social care £112m, childrens social care £50m, schools £36m, housing £36m and highways £35m. Housing is paid for via rents, the budget for the rest is made up of fees and charges 32%, council tax 28%, government funding 21%, business rates 14%. The council cannot increase council tax by more than 2%, and scope for additional business rates (which the govt takes half of anyway) is limited as we don't have lots of large shops, factories, out of town retail parks etc (it is calculated o floorspace). The council is having it's central government funding cut by £24.8m in 2014/15, another £26m the following year, another £24.6m the year after that, and another £22m the year after that. That's £100m less to spend in 2017 than we have now. And don't forget that social care takes up 40% of our current budget - looking after older people, people with disabilities and long term medical conditions and so on.[/p][/quote]Some more facts Warren....... Between 1997 and 2010, the UK saw the largest increase in public spending as a share of national income of any industrialised country. We rose from 22nd out of 28 to sixth, with spending increasing by 4.4 per cent per year in real terms. The tax take fluctuated in a narrow band of 36.2-38.7 per cent of GDP but state spending jumped from 34.6 per cent of GDP in 2000 to 47.4 per cent in 2010 on Treasury figures. Almost half this increase (6.2 points of the 12.8 per cent of GDP total) had occurred by 2005, two years at least before the start of the economic crisis. The economy was disastrously mismanaged by Labour and Britain still hasn’t recovered fully. That's why we still need cuts today.[/p][/quote]How much of that increase came from bailing out the bankers? That skews the figures a lot. mrroddis

4:00pm Tue 3 Dec 13

mrroddis says...

Idontbelieveit1948 wrote:
musesboy wrote:
Brighton Council aren't alone in having to make cuts. They have no choice. If any of you can come up with a better scheme then I'm sure the council would like to hear it.

Money spent on infrastructure is ring-fenced as I understand it and can't be used for anything else so no use in complaining about money spend on cycle lanes and the like.

The Tories and Labour could stop this if they wanted to but they must realise there is very little choice. Cuts will have to made. Where will you make them?
Well as a start council employees could start moving towards funding their own pensions like just about everybody else has to and then the 25 - 30 % of everyone's council tax which gets paid into their pension fund could be redirected into some of these areas.

Obviously you can't just pull the plug but private companies have virtually closed down these type of schemes, either partially or totally, and moved the burden to their employees. Why should public employees be any different - after all stats show they earn more on average than private employees anyway.
How charitable from the 63 year old to say pensions should be taken away. I hope you're volunteering that your pension is also removed.
[quote][p][bold]Idontbelieveit1948[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]musesboy[/bold] wrote: Brighton Council aren't alone in having to make cuts. They have no choice. If any of you can come up with a better scheme then I'm sure the council would like to hear it. Money spent on infrastructure is ring-fenced as I understand it and can't be used for anything else so no use in complaining about money spend on cycle lanes and the like. The Tories and Labour could stop this if they wanted to but they must realise there is very little choice. Cuts will have to made. Where will you make them?[/p][/quote]Well as a start council employees could start moving towards funding their own pensions like just about everybody else has to and then the 25 - 30 % of everyone's council tax which gets paid into their pension fund could be redirected into some of these areas. Obviously you can't just pull the plug but private companies have virtually closed down these type of schemes, either partially or totally, and moved the burden to their employees. Why should public employees be any different - after all stats show they earn more on average than private employees anyway.[/p][/quote]How charitable from the 63 year old to say pensions should be taken away. I hope you're volunteering that your pension is also removed. mrroddis

4:48pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Quiterie says...

mrroddis wrote:
Quiterie wrote:
Warren Morgan wrote:
Some facts - the biggest areas of spending for BHCC are adult social care £112m, childrens social care £50m, schools £36m, housing £36m and highways £35m.

Housing is paid for via rents, the budget for the rest is made up of fees and charges 32%, council tax 28%, government funding 21%, business rates 14%. The council cannot increase council tax by more than 2%, and scope for additional business rates (which the govt takes half of anyway) is limited as we don't have lots of large shops, factories, out of town retail parks etc (it is calculated o floorspace).

The council is having it's central government funding cut by £24.8m in 2014/15, another £26m the following year, another £24.6m the year after that, and another £22m the year after that. That's £100m less to spend in 2017 than we have now. And don't forget that social care takes up 40% of our current budget - looking after older people, people with disabilities and long term medical conditions and so on.
Some more facts Warren.......

Between 1997 and 2010, the UK saw the largest increase in public spending as a share of national income of any industrialised country. We rose from 22nd out of 28 to sixth, with spending increasing by 4.4 per cent per year in real terms. The tax take fluctuated in a narrow band of 36.2-38.7 per cent of GDP but state spending jumped from 34.6 per cent of GDP in 2000 to 47.4 per cent in 2010 on Treasury figures. Almost half this increase (6.2 points of the 12.8 per cent of GDP total) had occurred by 2005, two years at least before the start of the economic crisis. The economy was disastrously mismanaged by Labour and Britain still hasn’t recovered fully.

That's why we still need cuts today.
How much of that increase came from bailing out the bankers? That skews the figures a lot.
Good question. Thanks for asking. The increase in public spending certainly wasn't just down to the economic crisis / bankers bailout. That's why I specifically highlighted that half the spending increase had already occurred by 2005, which was well before the economic crisis / bankers bailout.

There was always going to be an economic downturn. There always is. Labour should have been 'saving for a rainy day' during the good times, but they did the opposite and massively increased public spending.
[quote][p][bold]mrroddis[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Quiterie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Warren Morgan[/bold] wrote: Some facts - the biggest areas of spending for BHCC are adult social care £112m, childrens social care £50m, schools £36m, housing £36m and highways £35m. Housing is paid for via rents, the budget for the rest is made up of fees and charges 32%, council tax 28%, government funding 21%, business rates 14%. The council cannot increase council tax by more than 2%, and scope for additional business rates (which the govt takes half of anyway) is limited as we don't have lots of large shops, factories, out of town retail parks etc (it is calculated o floorspace). The council is having it's central government funding cut by £24.8m in 2014/15, another £26m the following year, another £24.6m the year after that, and another £22m the year after that. That's £100m less to spend in 2017 than we have now. And don't forget that social care takes up 40% of our current budget - looking after older people, people with disabilities and long term medical conditions and so on.[/p][/quote]Some more facts Warren....... Between 1997 and 2010, the UK saw the largest increase in public spending as a share of national income of any industrialised country. We rose from 22nd out of 28 to sixth, with spending increasing by 4.4 per cent per year in real terms. The tax take fluctuated in a narrow band of 36.2-38.7 per cent of GDP but state spending jumped from 34.6 per cent of GDP in 2000 to 47.4 per cent in 2010 on Treasury figures. Almost half this increase (6.2 points of the 12.8 per cent of GDP total) had occurred by 2005, two years at least before the start of the economic crisis. The economy was disastrously mismanaged by Labour and Britain still hasn’t recovered fully. That's why we still need cuts today.[/p][/quote]How much of that increase came from bailing out the bankers? That skews the figures a lot.[/p][/quote]Good question. Thanks for asking. The increase in public spending certainly wasn't just down to the economic crisis / bankers bailout. That's why I specifically highlighted that half the spending increase had already occurred by 2005, which was well before the economic crisis / bankers bailout. There was always going to be an economic downturn. There always is. Labour should have been 'saving for a rainy day' during the good times, but they did the opposite and massively increased public spending. Quiterie

5:28pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Fight_Back says...

So Cllr Duncan wants B&H Council to reject the cuts. How exactly does he propose to do this ? The fact is that the government will be giving the city £100m less over the next four years - therefore we can't spend that £100m.

What does Cllr Duncan plan to do ? Blow a raspberry at the government and hope that makes them deposit the £100m into council coffers ?
So Cllr Duncan wants B&H Council to reject the cuts. How exactly does he propose to do this ? The fact is that the government will be giving the city £100m less over the next four years - therefore we can't spend that £100m. What does Cllr Duncan plan to do ? Blow a raspberry at the government and hope that makes them deposit the £100m into council coffers ? Fight_Back

5:48pm Tue 3 Dec 13

nocando says...

The cuts are working. Reigning in local authorities profligacy and idiocy with other peoples money is the target here. Quite where the money for Edward st is coming from at the expense of the needy and disabled has yet to be explained by those who shriek loudest about them. The gravy train will be making a few less stops and it'll very interesting to see which stations are missed.
The cuts are working. Reigning in local authorities profligacy and idiocy with other peoples money is the target here. Quite where the money for Edward st is coming from at the expense of the needy and disabled has yet to be explained by those who shriek loudest about them. The gravy train will be making a few less stops and it'll very interesting to see which stations are missed. nocando

6:16pm Tue 3 Dec 13

greenhousedani says...

Fight_Back wrote:
So Cllr Duncan wants B&H Council to reject the cuts. How exactly does he propose to do this ? The fact is that the government will be giving the city £100m less over the next four years - therefore we can't spend that £100m.

What does Cllr Duncan plan to do ? Blow a raspberry at the government and hope that makes them deposit the £100m into council coffers ?
The longer local councils like Brighton & Hove accept the bullying behaviour of the government, the more local people will suffer cuts like this. Governments all over the world are influenced by protest and political pressure - this one is no exception. Sometimes you have to make a noise to be heard. Just sighing and accepting the cuts as a fact won't make any difference at all.
[quote][p][bold]Fight_Back[/bold] wrote: So Cllr Duncan wants B&H Council to reject the cuts. How exactly does he propose to do this ? The fact is that the government will be giving the city £100m less over the next four years - therefore we can't spend that £100m. What does Cllr Duncan plan to do ? Blow a raspberry at the government and hope that makes them deposit the £100m into council coffers ?[/p][/quote]The longer local councils like Brighton & Hove accept the bullying behaviour of the government, the more local people will suffer cuts like this. Governments all over the world are influenced by protest and political pressure - this one is no exception. Sometimes you have to make a noise to be heard. Just sighing and accepting the cuts as a fact won't make any difference at all. greenhousedani

12:17am Wed 4 Dec 13

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Too little too late Mr Duncan. The Tories have been making these cuts for years yet your party continued to spend what money we do have on re painting bike lanes which already existed, installing unused electric car charging points for people who could afford a £20,000 electric car, you installed a light up bus time table for the Preston Park folk to enable them to visit town from their £600,000 homes. What signal do you think you have given to people living on the breadline, the 20 percent of kids living in poverty in the city who saw you ignore the travellers parked up for months in their play area in Moulsecoomb, ignore the fact your favourite bus company increasing fares by 11 per cent, the third rise in a year, making a commute to work from East Brighton one of the most expensive weekly trips. You fail to deal with the anti social behaviour by your student voters in Bevendean and Meadowview and leave our streets sodden in recycling despite our kids trying to have a decent nights sleep to get up for school. And you want to bring another 5,000 non council tax payers into local homes creating an even bigger hole in the council tax pot by swapping working people for students just because they vote for you. How many more policies are you going to roll out which are hurting those in ordinary homes in ordinary jobs?
You may be a socialist Mr Duncan but your colleagues have been the most damaging group of individuals to the quality of life of poor and ordinary working folk I have ever known in this town.
I suggest you stand as an independent because Green means Blue in many people's minds. You have feathered the nests of the middle classes who can either afford to suffer the cost of your Eco ideals or don't pay any taxes to be bothered either. Your party have hit he majority without listening and blaming it on the Tories is lame at least we expected them to be bastards.
Too little too late Mr Duncan. The Tories have been making these cuts for years yet your party continued to spend what money we do have on re painting bike lanes which already existed, installing unused electric car charging points for people who could afford a £20,000 electric car, you installed a light up bus time table for the Preston Park folk to enable them to visit town from their £600,000 homes. What signal do you think you have given to people living on the breadline, the 20 percent of kids living in poverty in the city who saw you ignore the travellers parked up for months in their play area in Moulsecoomb, ignore the fact your favourite bus company increasing fares by 11 per cent, the third rise in a year, making a commute to work from East Brighton one of the most expensive weekly trips. You fail to deal with the anti social behaviour by your student voters in Bevendean and Meadowview and leave our streets sodden in recycling despite our kids trying to have a decent nights sleep to get up for school. And you want to bring another 5,000 non council tax payers into local homes creating an even bigger hole in the council tax pot by swapping working people for students just because they vote for you. How many more policies are you going to roll out which are hurting those in ordinary homes in ordinary jobs? You may be a socialist Mr Duncan but your colleagues have been the most damaging group of individuals to the quality of life of poor and ordinary working folk I have ever known in this town. I suggest you stand as an independent because Green means Blue in many people's minds. You have feathered the nests of the middle classes who can either afford to suffer the cost of your Eco ideals or don't pay any taxes to be bothered either. Your party have hit he majority without listening and blaming it on the Tories is lame at least we expected them to be bastards. Maxwell's Ghost

3:09pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Valerie Paynter says...

How many students are there in the city not paying council tax? How many units of housing do they consume that cannot be taken up by people working and able to pay council tax? Is it any wonder large businesses do not beat a path to relocate in this city. No housing for their employees bcause it is all going to students.

The University of Sussex plans to increase its trading position to add another 5,000 students who will all require housing after first year.....that is 5,000 people not required to pay council tax but who will need council services.

The revenue position is dire and not least because of the over studentification of the city over and above those on v. low or no incomes not paying council tax.

Central Government does not compensate this city for taking in all those education refugees.
How many students are there in the city not paying council tax? How many units of housing do they consume that cannot be taken up by people working and able to pay council tax? Is it any wonder large businesses do not beat a path to relocate in this city. No housing for their employees bcause it is all going to students. The University of Sussex plans to increase its trading position to add another 5,000 students who will all require housing after first year.....that is 5,000 people not required to pay council tax but who will need council services. The revenue position is dire and not least because of the over studentification of the city over and above those on v. low or no incomes not paying council tax. Central Government does not compensate this city for taking in all those education refugees. Valerie Paynter

12:09pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Kate234 says...

Quiterie wrote:
mrroddis wrote:
Quiterie wrote:
Warren Morgan wrote:
Some facts - the biggest areas of spending for BHCC are adult social care £112m, childrens social care £50m, schools £36m, housing £36m and highways £35m.

Housing is paid for via rents, the budget for the rest is made up of fees and charges 32%, council tax 28%, government funding 21%, business rates 14%. The council cannot increase council tax by more than 2%, and scope for additional business rates (which the govt takes half of anyway) is limited as we don't have lots of large shops, factories, out of town retail parks etc (it is calculated o floorspace).

The council is having it's central government funding cut by £24.8m in 2014/15, another £26m the following year, another £24.6m the year after that, and another £22m the year after that. That's £100m less to spend in 2017 than we have now. And don't forget that social care takes up 40% of our current budget - looking after older people, people with disabilities and long term medical conditions and so on.
Some more facts Warren.......

Between 1997 and 2010, the UK saw the largest increase in public spending as a share of national income of any industrialised country. We rose from 22nd out of 28 to sixth, with spending increasing by 4.4 per cent per year in real terms. The tax take fluctuated in a narrow band of 36.2-38.7 per cent of GDP but state spending jumped from 34.6 per cent of GDP in 2000 to 47.4 per cent in 2010 on Treasury figures. Almost half this increase (6.2 points of the 12.8 per cent of GDP total) had occurred by 2005, two years at least before the start of the economic crisis. The economy was disastrously mismanaged by Labour and Britain still hasn’t recovered fully.

That's why we still need cuts today.
How much of that increase came from bailing out the bankers? That skews the figures a lot.
Good question. Thanks for asking. The increase in public spending certainly wasn't just down to the economic crisis / bankers bailout. That's why I specifically highlighted that half the spending increase had already occurred by 2005, which was well before the economic crisis / bankers bailout.

There was always going to be an economic downturn. There always is. Labour should have been 'saving for a rainy day' during the good times, but they did the opposite and massively increased public spending.
What did Margaret Thatcher say? "The problems with socialism is that they always run out of other peoples money to spend."

Everyone I know that works in the public sector in Brighton tells me stories of eye watering waste. Perhaps the Argus should do a freedom of information request on average salaries of some large private sector employers in Brighton or the amount spent on business class flights. Or what is Jason Kitkat earning now compared to before he got elected and had to fend for himself and not out of our money.

When the public sector operates as economically as the private sector I will have more sympathy.
[quote][p][bold]Quiterie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mrroddis[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Quiterie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Warren Morgan[/bold] wrote: Some facts - the biggest areas of spending for BHCC are adult social care £112m, childrens social care £50m, schools £36m, housing £36m and highways £35m. Housing is paid for via rents, the budget for the rest is made up of fees and charges 32%, council tax 28%, government funding 21%, business rates 14%. The council cannot increase council tax by more than 2%, and scope for additional business rates (which the govt takes half of anyway) is limited as we don't have lots of large shops, factories, out of town retail parks etc (it is calculated o floorspace). The council is having it's central government funding cut by £24.8m in 2014/15, another £26m the following year, another £24.6m the year after that, and another £22m the year after that. That's £100m less to spend in 2017 than we have now. And don't forget that social care takes up 40% of our current budget - looking after older people, people with disabilities and long term medical conditions and so on.[/p][/quote]Some more facts Warren....... Between 1997 and 2010, the UK saw the largest increase in public spending as a share of national income of any industrialised country. We rose from 22nd out of 28 to sixth, with spending increasing by 4.4 per cent per year in real terms. The tax take fluctuated in a narrow band of 36.2-38.7 per cent of GDP but state spending jumped from 34.6 per cent of GDP in 2000 to 47.4 per cent in 2010 on Treasury figures. Almost half this increase (6.2 points of the 12.8 per cent of GDP total) had occurred by 2005, two years at least before the start of the economic crisis. The economy was disastrously mismanaged by Labour and Britain still hasn’t recovered fully. That's why we still need cuts today.[/p][/quote]How much of that increase came from bailing out the bankers? That skews the figures a lot.[/p][/quote]Good question. Thanks for asking. The increase in public spending certainly wasn't just down to the economic crisis / bankers bailout. That's why I specifically highlighted that half the spending increase had already occurred by 2005, which was well before the economic crisis / bankers bailout. There was always going to be an economic downturn. There always is. Labour should have been 'saving for a rainy day' during the good times, but they did the opposite and massively increased public spending.[/p][/quote]What did Margaret Thatcher say? "The problems with socialism is that they always run out of other peoples money to spend." Everyone I know that works in the public sector in Brighton tells me stories of eye watering waste. Perhaps the Argus should do a freedom of information request on average salaries of some large private sector employers in Brighton or the amount spent on business class flights. Or what is Jason Kitkat earning now compared to before he got elected and had to fend for himself and not out of our money. When the public sector operates as economically as the private sector I will have more sympathy. Kate234

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