Monday, 26 October 2009

Council Tax: to raise or not to raise...

It's that time of year again when the council focuses it's energies on next year's budget.

As ever, there are four crucial questions: how much money will we get from the Government, how much Council Tax will residents be asked to pay, how much money will the council raise from other charges, parking fines, for example, or bulky waste collection, and how will public services be affected by all this.

Personally, I think that we should raise Council Tax a little, perhaps by 3.5%, to maintain public services and fund some recession tool-kits for parents, older people, and others in the city most affected by recession.

But the Green Group's position is still under discussion - of course as it unfolds I'll post details here.

Meanwhile, there's a role for everybody, here. Bottom-up democracy works best when as many people as possible take part in the budgetary process: that's why Greens are in favour of participatory budgeting, essentially devolving cash to communities to spend for themselves on local priorities.

Of course participatory budgeting isn't on the Tory administration's agenda, but you can still express your views by taking part in a pre-budget survey which will reported to council along with the budget next year: http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1213294

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