Labour's proposals for next year's City Council budget show that they have all the wrong priorities for Southampton.
Labour want to impose a Council Tax increase of 4.5% on local residents. This is almost the maximum that they could get away with as the Government caps increases of more that 5%. By contrast the Conservatives want to keep council tax increases below inflation and propose a 2.7% increase. In addition we have proposed a 10% reduction in Council Tax for pensioners. Households where people are 65 or over would pay on average £160 less a year in Council Tax under the Conservatives than they would under a Labour run city council.
Labour claim that they are protecting services yet they want to cut £333,000 out of the children's social services budget and close family centres which help look after abused and vulnerable children. Last year they conspired with the Liberal Democrats to cut the budget for elderly people receiving home care and increased the fees charged by the Council. Surely looking after the most vulnerable in society should be the highest priority for the Council yet Labour do not seem to see this as being remotely important. Conservatives will do all they can to resist cuts to these vital services.
Labour have promised free bus travel across Hampshire for Southampton pensioners but unlike the Conservatives they haven't shown how they would pay for it.
Labour are promising free swmiming for under 11s but to pay for it they want to close Oaklands swimming pool. So it is free swimming unless you live in Lordswood or Lordshill!
Labour want to give £100,000 to subsidise the activities of trades unions in the City. I can't think of anywhere else in the country where this sort of thing happens!
It is also interesting to note that the only political party calling for cuts to be made to Councillor allowances is the Conservative Party.