Council Tax freeze for 3rd year while Labour vote against
On Thursday night, Swindon Conservatives voted for a budget and a Council Tax Freeze, which was passed by just two votes – 27 to 25. This means Swindon residents have seen no increase in Council for three years running.
Swindon Borough Councils budget totals £146 million and this year included over £10million of back office changes and efficency savings – all items that do not impact front line services.
This budget included over £40 million for Adult Social Care and protecting the vulnerable, no cuts!
Amongst the measures included no change in Library openings hours in the year ahead. For Covingham Library and Liden Library this is especially important.
Unfortunately, this positive news is offset by Labour councillors who voted against the Conservative budget! The most senior Labour Councillor was not prepared to find money to protect libraries, and wanted changes without thinking through the consequences, such as plans to save households £150 each could have been scrapped. At a time when residents want people to rise above party politics, Labour descend to nasty negative point scoring to grab headlines. And this is despite agreeing with 99% of Tory plans!
To top matters, Labour wanted to scrap the dedicated Scrutiny team which helps councillors hold committees and cabinet to account. Just what do labour want to hide?
From the £146million budget, the Labour big idea was to save £17,000 providing council visitors with a cup of water.
The lack of understanding included proposing 50% budget cuts and a reorganisation to Forward Swindon, just at the time when they are leading a taskgroup of Honda and other major employers to save and protect jobs in Swindon!