Southampton Conservatives today released their draft budget for the City Council.
Conservatives have broken with council tradition which is to keep budget plans under wraps until February and have launched their proposals early in order to consult with residents.
Southampton has suffered enormously over the last ten years as the Government has transferred vast resources from the city to fund its northern heartlands. This year Labour are set to cost local people millions of pounds of funding for public services.
Despite the background of chronic Government underfunding, Southampton's new Conservative Council Administration has made excellent progress.
Key highlights include:
1. Reaffirming commitment to keep Council Tax within inflation,
2. A 10% discount in Council Tax for pensioner households (where all occupants are over 65),
3. Scrapping Council Tax for local people who become Special Police Constables in Southampton,
4. An extra £1.7m a year into social services for vulnerable adults and children,
5. Another £3/4m a year into road repairs (part of a three year increase of £2.3m,
6. Over £5m of efficiency savings identified (£1m identified for each month the Conservatives have been in office),
7. An overall increase in money for Southampton schools. Earlier this year an extra £5m was given to secondary schools for improvements,
8. Bringing in free nationwide bus travel for seniors in April,
9. £300,000 extra for parks in the suburbs,
10. Investment into the city's heritage - money to refurbish Tudor House and to build a heritage centre at the civic centre.