LABOUR’S ‘PEOPLES BUDGET AGREED AT FULL COUNCIL’
(22nd February 2018)
Issues raised by the people of Southampton were directly acknowledged and addressed in Southampton’s latest budget, which was passed at a Full Council meeting last night. Additional investment in roads and infrastructure, investment in street cleaning and even money for public drinking fountains, seeking to address the growing concern over plastic waste, were put through in the new budget.
Council leader Simon Letts talked about the budget with optimism: ‘By careful management of residents’ money and despite continuing government cuts we are now able to invest in services creating 45 jobs all of which are aimed at improving our neighbourhoods.’
Councillor Letts then went on to speak about the engagement that councillors have had with local residents when planning this budget. ‘Southampton residents have told us that their key priorities are improving the quality of roads and pavements and more street cleaning. This budget delivers on both of these priorities. ‘
At the evening council meeting, the Conservative group voted against the budget, yet failed to put forward a credible alternative of their own.
This is an exciting budget. It protects jobs whilst creating some more. It puts significant investment into Health and Social Care, creates more apprenticeships, and helps to improve living standards for Southampton residents. Dubbed ‘The People’s budget’, the budget will also include additional investment for the recognition and celebration of heritage in the City, by - for example - funding Southampton’s first armed forces day and improving the ‘walk the walls’ experience.
It is clear that Southampton is a City moving forward and looking to the future. It is currently positioned 3rd in the country for growth, and has schools that are overachieving when compared to other cities. It is set to be one of the first cities in the UK to be included in a business rates pilot scheme from central government, where the City will get to keep 100% of the business rates it collects. Southampton’s Labour run council is focused on growing the city’s economy for the benefit of all. Southampton has a bright future under Labour’s stewardship.