Friday, March 02, 2007

Lewisham Council's Budget - all Green amendments accepted

Ute or I will post more comment on last night's council budget meeting soon, but for now, in brief, all our budget proposals were accepted by the Mayor. These included a number of proposals to deliver additional investment in environmental initiatives and practical measures to promote local shops and businesses while reversing £1.6m of proposed cuts in frontline services for Adult Social Care.
"Lewisham's Green Party councillors last night persuaded the Mayor to make radical changes to his budget.

This means extra eco-friendly measures such as school solar panels will become reality, along with ideas to support locally-owned shops.

It also means shelving the mayor's plans to break up a groundbreaking scheme that helps traumatised refugee children to integrate into our schools. The Mayor promised to listen to what the Children and Young People committee recommends.

But the Greens would not have supported the budget if the Mayor had not agreed to make important changes to his plans for services for some of Lewisham's most vulnerable adult residents.

Green Party finance spokesperson Cllr Ute Michel said:

"Last week we said the Mayor should think again about removing adult social care services from many current users. Just hours later he agreed to do just that. Without his promise to consult with an open mind, the Greens could never have voted for this budget.

"Before that change of heart, the review would have been massively biased in favour of cuts, because the council would have had to find £1.8m of savings. Last night that pressure was lifted and now service users have a far better chance of being listened to."

Green group leader Cllr Darren Johnson added:

"We will now fight for the consultation to be not about penny-pinching but about empowering vulnerable residents to lead full lives in our community just like everybody else."

Green Party proposals accepted by the Mayor:

For the environment

* A pilot green waste wheelie bin collection for 5,000 households
* £10,000 ringfenced to promote recycling, energy conservation and other sustainability schemes
* £60,000 to install solar panels and energy efficiency measures in five schools within the Energy Action Zones
* Vouchers for hundreds of families to purchase 'real' nappies to cut down on the huge waste caused by disposables

For local businesses:

* A cheaper recycling service
* Exploring the potential of a high-tech local shoppers' loyalty card
* Thousands of locally-branded cotton shopping bags to be sold by local traders, cutting down on plastic and expressing shoppers' community pride"


Shasha Khan said...

Well done on this. If this is what 6 councillors can do in a London borough, imagine what 16, 26, 36 could do???

scott redding said...

I like the ideas around "vouchers for real nappies" and a high street loyalty card!