Monday, February 28, 2011

Green Party councillors and the cuts

To follow on from the previous economic perspectives motion that was passed I thought I'd post up the organisational guidance the Cardiff conference has passed on how councillors should respond to the cuts. This is an organisational rather than policy motion which explains the slightly different style;

Conference reaffirms our manifesto commitment to "protect basic public services, which are the foundation of an equitable society".

The Green Party of England and Wales is opposed to cuts in essential local government services.

Conference calls on GPEX [the national executive], within existing resources, to offer support (e.g. policy and external communications support) to Green Party councillors and other publicly elected Green Party representatives not to vote for such cuts, support them in refusing to do so.

GPEW deplores the Coalition Government's huge reductions in government grant to each local authority but recognises that each local authority has a legal duty to set a balanced budget.

Green councillors will be supported in putting forward imaginative alternatives that will protect jobs and services. Such alternatives could include the following:

- cutting senior pay for top council executives
- reducing the millions spent on expensive private sector consultants
- cutting down on glossy PR and council spin
- reducing council fuel bills by making schools, libraries and other buildings more energy efficient
- introducing workplace parking levies

Such a stand will facilitate the effective participation of such representatives and members in the local campaigns against cuts which are required, and will provide a lead for other councillors, trade unionists and community activists.

Conference asks the Chair of the Association of Green Councillors to inform all Green Councillors of this motion.


Andrew Cooper said...

As Chair of the Association of Green Councillors I'm happy to support the motion and fulfil its requirements.

Here's a link to my blog where I anticipated the outcome of the motion in my own Council Kirklees. It also has a link to the webcast of teh Council meeting. My speech is 56 minutes in.

Jim Jepps said...

I think this a useful and worthwhile motion - am glad you're happy with it!

Green Christian said...

That's not actually the motion we passed. The bit about sharing administration costs was taken out (perhaps you forgot because we spent an hour debating the other part of the amendment).

Jim Jepps said...

I know that was discussed but I thought it went the other way. Thanks for letting me know - I'll just double check but I'm sure you're memory is better than mine.

I'll amend in a minute once I've relooked - thanks again, corrections always welcome!

Jim Jepps said...

You were right - I've corrected the post.

Incidentally I've no principle objection to sharing admin and chief execs if you can cut costs while not effecting services (or even improving them) as that money can then be diverted to something more entertaining, like child care.

Jim said...

Workplace parking levies? So people who are forced to commute because they cannot afford to live near to where they work, and where there is inadequate public transport, are to be hit further? The well-off will still be able to drive to work, I suppose everyone else will have to walk miles in the rain?

Will you not set budgets on the basis of need, or will it be cuts budgets with a few 'imaginative' elements?

Jim Jepps said...

When we say they 'could include the following' it means we'd explore it not that we'd insist on it.

Local public services are going to be devasted and we have to fight tooth and nail over every job, and every service.

To refuse to increase income whilst demanding we increase our spend seems a bit haphazard to me.

I'd far rather we saved someone's job and made them pay to park (presuming they aren't walking or cycling which so many people do these days, oh the modern world) than laid them off because we had no revenue.