3 March 2009

Lewisham Budget Debate

Lewisham's budget for 2009-10 was agreed this evening on the casting vote of the Conservative chair of the Council, Cllr Barry Anderson.

After a lengthy debate in which the Liberal Democrats, Socialists and the other two Conservatives committed themselves to the Labour cuts package, we failed to get support for our fully costed proposals to bring in substantial amounts of funding to insulate thousands of homes across Lewisham providing jobs, tackling fuel poverty and reducing CO2 emissions. Other Green proposals rejected by the Lib Dems included the introduction a Living Wage.

There appeared surprise from Labour cabinet members when the Mayor expressed general support for most of the Green package and promised to look into the ideas in more detail. Cabinet members Cllrs Wise, Klier and Massey having used a proportion of their own speeches to basically slag off the Greens appeared most surprised.

Tomorrow Councillors get to hear how the Mayor plans to spend £2.1M on an ongoing basis to tackle the recession in Lewisham...which is funny as I understood the recession is due to end at some time. Perhaps the Mayor has been briefed differently from number 10 or more cynically perhaps he's already setting aside an easy cuts package to reduce council tax in the run up to next years local elections!

1 comment:

Andrew Brown said...

I remember Steve surprising me once or twice with his non-partisan approach to budget amendments. Mark Morris seemed very keen to introduce advertising to roundabouts one year, which if memory serves I spent some of my speech arguing against, only for the Mayor to be much more positive.

BTW do I detect a difference of tone between this post and the press release about the budget decision...