The ArgusPut your questions to Brighton and Hove's party leaders ahead of Thursday's crunch budget debate (From The Argus)

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Put your questions to Brighton and Hove's party leaders ahead of Thursday's crunch budget debate

The Argus: Warren Morgan Warren Morgan

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 jo.wadsworth@theargus.co.uk or comment on the live webchats themselves as they happen. 

Comments (8)

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5:23pm Mon 24 Feb 14

wexler53 says...

Why the greens think we can trust them with our money is beyond me. So the clear answer to them is NO and Please go now.

To Warren and Theobald, what steps are you going to take to value check all our services, and ensure the taxpayer gets value for money when providing services to all. And, these services need to be delivered efficiently and cost effectively - what are you going to do to ensure accountability of our public servants.

And please confirm the i360 will be fully cancelled, and sensible steps taken to get the west pier situation sorted, even if that means managing it's total collapse over time.
Why the greens think we can trust them with our money is beyond me. So the clear answer to them is NO and Please go now. To Warren and Theobald, what steps are you going to take to value check all our services, and ensure the taxpayer gets value for money when providing services to all. And, these services need to be delivered efficiently and cost effectively - what are you going to do to ensure accountability of our public servants. And please confirm the i360 will be fully cancelled, and sensible steps taken to get the west pier situation sorted, even if that means managing it's total collapse over time. wexler53
  • Score: 14

6:17pm Mon 24 Feb 14

rolivan says...

With The Student Population rising how does the Labour Group intend to balance the books if they are not contibuting towards Council Tax. Somewhere along the line there has to come a time when Council Taxpayers will not be be able to provide enough revenue to subsidise those do not.
Also do the Council receive Council Tax from Halls of Residence.
With The Student Population rising how does the Labour Group intend to balance the books if they are not contibuting towards Council Tax. Somewhere along the line there has to come a time when Council Taxpayers will not be be able to provide enough revenue to subsidise those do not. Also do the Council receive Council Tax from Halls of Residence. rolivan
  • Score: 13

7:09pm Mon 24 Feb 14

Maxwell's Ghost says...

Why are consultations about how money is spent in the city being circulated among non city residents and non council tax paying residents?
Why are consultations about how money is spent in the city being circulated among non city residents and non council tax paying residents? Maxwell's Ghost
  • Score: 9

8:36am Tue 25 Feb 14

Tallywhacker says...

Why do those who don't pay the tax get a vote on if it goes up?

Why not freeze the budget of departments that have nothing to do with the suddenly desperate "vulnerable"? That way any increase could be kept at a minimum.

When the greens lose the vote will thwy repay the costs back into council funds as they never had any chance of winning in the first place?
Why do those who don't pay the tax get a vote on if it goes up? Why not freeze the budget of departments that have nothing to do with the suddenly desperate "vulnerable"? That way any increase could be kept at a minimum. When the greens lose the vote will thwy repay the costs back into council funds as they never had any chance of winning in the first place? Tallywhacker
  • Score: 3

9:55am Tue 25 Feb 14

fredflintstone1 says...

Will your party oppose the highly dangerous idea of having cattle and sheep wandering freely over the Ditchling Road, which the Greens are wanting to impose on residents?
Will your party oppose the highly dangerous idea of having cattle and sheep wandering freely over the Ditchling Road, which the Greens are wanting to impose on residents? fredflintstone1
  • Score: 5

10:46am Tue 25 Feb 14

Martha Gunn says...

Seems odd that something called localism gives the vote in this referendum to people who are not local and only temporarily resident.

The enfranchisement of non-tax payers is giving rise to huge resentment.

Especially so when these non-tax paying temporary residents form the slim majority by which Lucas and Kitcat get elected.
Seems odd that something called localism gives the vote in this referendum to people who are not local and only temporarily resident. The enfranchisement of non-tax payers is giving rise to huge resentment. Especially so when these non-tax paying temporary residents form the slim majority by which Lucas and Kitcat get elected. Martha Gunn
  • Score: 8

11:28am Tue 25 Feb 14

Richada says...

Martha Gunn wrote:
Seems odd that something called localism gives the vote in this referendum to people who are not local and only temporarily resident.

The enfranchisement of non-tax payers is giving rise to huge resentment.

Especially so when these non-tax paying temporary residents form the slim majority by which Lucas and Kitcat get elected.
Very well said!
[quote][p][bold]Martha Gunn[/bold] wrote: Seems odd that something called localism gives the vote in this referendum to people who are not local and only temporarily resident. The enfranchisement of non-tax payers is giving rise to huge resentment. Especially so when these non-tax paying temporary residents form the slim majority by which Lucas and Kitcat get elected.[/p][/quote]Very well said! Richada
  • Score: 2

11:32am Tue 25 Feb 14

Richada says...

Maxwell's Ghost wrote:
Why are consultations about how money is spent in the city being circulated among non city residents and non council tax paying residents?
A desperate chicken voting on behalf of turkeys for Christmas exercise.
[quote][p][bold]Maxwell's Ghost[/bold] wrote: Why are consultations about how money is spent in the city being circulated among non city residents and non council tax paying residents?[/p][/quote]A desperate chicken voting on behalf of turkeys for Christmas exercise. Richada
  • Score: 2

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