Tory-run South Gloucestershire Council is refusing to give local people a say before a crucial vote on a new Metro Mayor.
The council published a new website (www.southglos.gov.uk/devolution) on the 10th of May, explaining that while the decision would be taken in June, the first ‘consultation’ would be in July or August.
Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Ruth Davis said: “This is crackers! What on earth is the point in a consultation taking place after the vote?
“This is one of the biggest decisions we will ever have to take. The nearly £1bn of investment over 30 years, combined with a Metro-Mayor to cover the whole area is a knife-edge decision. The public should absolutely be involved – and they’re being told their voice is going to be shut out until after the Tories have decided.
“We’ve been promised all along that there would be a proper public consultation, and the vote would be after we’d heard the voices of local residents. It tells you all you need to know about the Tories – the views of residents are irrelevant. You’re not allowed to say anything until after they’ve already decided. It’s disgraceful.”
After news broke that Stoke Gifford Council would charge a parkrun group to use their parks, South Gloucestershire Lib Dem Councillor Claire Young said: “This is outrageous. The Tory council chair has said people can run in Stoke Gifford whenever they like – except now they can’t on a Saturday morning unless they bring their wallet. We should be encouraging physical activity, and finding ways to support community groups where people want to do things together. Not attacking them, and putting a price on fun.”
Crossways parents, pupils and staff celebrate the news that a zebra crossing will be built outside the school some time in the next 12 months. Cllrs Shirley Holloway, Maggie Tyrrell and Clare Fardell, (back right) joined the celebrations just after they were able to persuade Severnvale Area Forum on March 1st to allocate the funds to enable the crossing to be built.
Tory-run South Gloucestershire council agreed to slash funding for its youth organisations today (Wednesday 2nd March).
At a fractious meeting of the Children & Young People committee, Liberal Democrat and Labour efforts to protect the funding went to no avail, as all 7 Tories voted to cut the money in half. With all 6 Liberal Democrat and Labour members voting for the youth services, any one Conservative could have swung the vote.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Ian Blair said: “I cannot countenance further cuts to the youth service budget. This is going to cause real tension in communities, and be detrimental to South Gloucestershire being ‘a great place to live and work’. The Tories have called this funding ‘unsustainable’ – but they’re using the money to pay for a ‘sustainable’ cut to the cost of a green bin! They chose to make the youth service unsustainable, to give a 50p tax cut to people with big gardens.”
Councillor Maggie Tyrrell added: “Since Krunch expanded our youth services in Thornbury, police have seen a dramatic reduction in low level crime. Youth services help people, at a time when they often want guidance from outside the family home. It’s ridiculous to cut such a service. The consequences will be horrific, and cost much more than properly funding the youth service in the first place!”
Last Saturday 20th February local Lib Dems in Thornbury manned an information stall in Thornbury High Street in support of the party's Stronger IN Europe Campaign.
Despite the drizzly weather there were a good number of people around who were pleased to take an information leaflet outlining some of the reasons why the Liberal Democrats believe Britain should stay within the European Union.