Brighton and Hove City councillors were stuck in deadlock over budget plans as they failed to come to an agreement last night.
With all sides in a stalemate after the first round of voting council leaders tried in vain to force through a compromise, which almost sawan agreement on Labour’s budget choice of a 2% rise.
It was a bad night for the Green contingent, which sawall their budget amendments voted down as well as seeing their plans for a 4.75% referendum go down in flames.
The political pantomime was in full swing during the debate with each side laying out their plans while labelling the others a danger to the city’s services and financial future.
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The Conservative Party claimed the first victory of the night after seeing their amendment to allocate £25,000 of unallocated reserves put aside for the city’s Pride event.
Labour claimed an early victory when their amendment to provide £120,000 of interim funding for Able & Willing was carried by 31 votes to 19.
But each side made the most of the nearly three-hour debate to argue the point for their budget plans.
Green party and council leader Jason Kitcat argued that his party’s plan for a nearly 5 per cent increase was the only way to save the city’s adult social care services, which he said would be “in crisis in the next two years”.
Bringing a rousing round of applause from his own members he said: “For me the sign of our community is how we care for the vulnerable, elderly and disabled.”
Conservative leader Geoffrey Theobald said: “This must be the longest running council tax debate in our history.
“We’ve shown as a party how we can freeze council tax and put more back into a number of services. We’re against both the costly increases.
“I won’t allow them to vote for this when I believe the majority want a freeze.”
Labour leader Warren Morgan said the Conservative plan would lead to further cuts down the line while accusing the Greens of pushing for a council tax referendum as a gimmick to put on their election leaflets.
He said: “With the cost involved if you let the referendum go through all that will happen is you will incur costs of £900,000 only to arrive back where we were in the first place and a council tax budget of 2%.
“That money should be spent on what residents need now”
With all sides going back and forth the chance of a quick solution vanished when each party had their initial plan voted down.
And with the time burning away efforts to find a political compromise failed to get the budget through and they will have to try again in a week’s time.