Excellent news from the Brighton and Hove Council meeting last night where Labour and Conservative councillors joined forces to approve a Council Tax freeze. This defeated the proposal of the Green Party minority administration for an increase of 3,5%. One of the Green Party's own councillors voted against the Council Tax increase. Do have a look at the full webcast.
Among the savings agreed in the new budget were £250,000 in management and administration plus cuts in the human resources budget, stopping City News, the council’s quarterly magazine and a reduction in spend on communications, cutting £150,000 of spending on the "sustainability team", reducing the asylum seekers budget, withdrawing £1.2 million for "future workstyles programmes". But the proposal of the "Green" council to punish allotment holders with extra charges has been scaled back.
So what does this mean for the future administration of the council? The Green Party would seem to, as Lord Lamont would say, "in office but not in power." They talk about sustainability but they seem to be unsustainable. Is a Con/Lab pact the way forward?