The highly anticipated showdown over Brighton and Hove City Council’s budget takes place on Thursday afternoon when the three main parties – the Green Party, Labour and the Conservatives – will lay down their plans for financing council services for the next year.
The Greens, led by leader Jason Kitcat, have put forward a proposal for a 4.75 per cent increase that would have to go to a public vote before it could be brought it.
According to the council’s leading party, raising taxes by nearly five per cent is the only way to protect front line services, in particular adult social care, and the price of a public referendum on their plans is one worth paying.
According to the Conservative group, the council can get by without any increase at all and have proposed to freeze council tax for the next year and rely on a government grant to make up the cost.
For Labour, the answer is to raise council tax by two per cent, just below the threshold that would trigger a referendum but according to them would allow the council to protect front line services.
But with so many different plans, cuts, numbers and consequences floating around we thought now would be the time to allow you, the public, to put your questions to each party leader to get the answers you want.
Do you want to know which council services are at risk? Why a 4.75 per cent increase is necessary? Why any increase is needed at all? Or maybe why any of this matters?
For the next three days The Argus will give you the chance to ask your questions and put them directly to the leader of each party in a live web chat on The Argus website, www.theargus.co.uk, to get the anwers you want.
Tomorrow, Labour leader Warren Morgan will be in the hot seat from 1pm defending his party’s plans for a two per cent increase.
On Wednesday from 12.30pm we will give you the chance to ask your questions directly to Green leader Jason Kitcat.
Then Conservative leader Geoffrey Theobald answers your questions hours before the big debate on Thursday from 1pm.
With the big budget showdown now just days away this could be your last chance to put your questions directly to these men and make them give you the answers you want.
To take part in the live webchat, leave your questions below, use the #bhref hashtag on Twitter, email email@example.com or comment on the live webchats themselves as they happen.