Green Group leader Eleanor Combley today travelled to London to hand in a letter to the Treasury calling for an end to cuts to local government funding. The letter, signed by Green councillors and councillor candidates around England, highlights the warnings of the Local Government Association (LGA) “of real and growing uncertainty about how local services will be funded beyond 2020” and calls on the Chancellor Philip Hammond MP “to urgently provide local councils with the money they so clearly need to protect services and restore spending on community and frontline services to sustainable levels.” After years of local government cuts, essential frontline services are now threatened in local authorities across the UK – services such as adult social care, looked-after children, domestic abuse survivors, older people and low-income families in crisis.
Councillor Combley said:
“I would like to thank Caroline Lucas for supporting me to take the issue of local government funding all the way to the Treasury, alongside Green Councillors from other areas of the UK. It gave me the opportunity to raise issues affecting Bristol, such as the 30% cut to the budget for youth services voted through by Labour councillors last week. A perfect example of how austerity policies lack both economic and moral sense, this funding cut will end almost all youth work with under 11’s and remove open access sessions. These play an important preventive role, enabling play workers to get to know children well enough to keep them on the right track, and to spot problems before they get serious. Ending this work and limiting funding to targeted work means intervention only comes later, once problems pass a certain threshold, and is highly likely to increase future costs in other service areas.
“I could not vote for Bristol Labour’s austerity cuts budget, but I will do everything I can to reduce the impact of those cuts, whether by proposing helpful amendments to the budget, working behind the scenes in City Hall or taking the fight to Westminster as I have done today.”
Green Party co-Leader Caroline Lucas and Deputy Leader Amelia Womack were also there to support the hand-in. Caroline Lucas said:
“Our party is united in opposition to these planned cuts. Local authorities are already straining under the intense of pressure of year on year cuts and this further squeeze will put frontline services in the firing line. The Government can stop these cuts – and protect these essential local services – but that would mean ending their ideological love-affair with the failed austerity project. We are urging Philip Hammond to safeguard our vital local services from any further harm.”
- In December 2017 the Local Government Association – which represents councillors of all parties as well as independents, criticised the government’s continued lack of action on local government funding, stating:
“Local services are facing a £5.8 billion funding gap in 2019/20, as well as a £1.3 billion pressure to stabilise the adult social care provider market today. The additional council tax flexibility – estimated by our analysis to be worth up to £540 million in 2019/20 if all councils use it in both 2018/19 and 2019/20 – is nowhere near enough to meet the funding gap. The Government needs to provide new funding for all councils over the next few years so they can protect vital local services from further cutbacks."
"It is extremely disappointing that the Government has again chosen not to address the continuing funding gap for children’s and adult social care. We have repeatedly warned of the serious consequences of funding pressures facing these services, for both the people that rely on them and the financial sustainability of other services councils provide. An injection of new money from central government is the only way to protect the vital services which care for older and disabled people, protect children and support families.”
Bristol Uni announces it will become fossil free
The University of Bristol, after extensive talks, announced today that it will withdraw all £700,000 of its investment from the fossil fuel industry. Moving from partial to full divestment is a big step forward for the university, with plans being put in place to ditch all fossil fuel companies from its investment portfolio over the next couple of years.
Council votes for Temple Meads arena location after Green motion
Over five thousand people have now signed a petition calling for the Mayor to support a Bristol arena at Temple Meads. Green councillors brought the matter to a vote with a motion to Full Council.
It’s time for a drug consumption room in Bristol
Green Councillor Cleo Lake is calling for Bristol to launch a drug consumption room to give drug users a safer space with access to needles and specialist support.
Bristol's Three Pro-EU MEPs release joint statement on Russian poison attack
“In a difficult week for pro-EU MEPs, when we debated the next stage of the leaving process, it was heartening to feel the warmth and generosity of our European colleagues in solidarity with the UK in the face of Russian aggression."
Greens bring vote on Arena location to Council meeting
Green Councillors have secured a Council debate and vote on the location of Bristol’s arena at next Tuesday’s Council meeting.
Bristol’s next Lord Mayor announced as Green Councillor Cleo Lake
Green Councillors have announced their candidate for Lord Mayor as Cotham Councillor, Cleo Lake
Clean Air Action Plan proposed after years of Green campaigning
At Bristol Council today, the Cabinet approved the development of a Clean Air Action Plan to tackle the illegal levels of air pollution in the city, which has been estimated to contribute to over 300 premature deaths per year.
High Court refuses MEP's Brexit case
High Court refuses to force government’s hand over Brexit impact studies
Bristol's MEP is today in High Court over Brexit court action
The High Court will this morning hear an oral application for permission to apply for judicial review to compel the production, in public, of the studies the government continues to withhold on the economic impacts of Brexit.
Green Group leader lobbies Treasury for end to local government cuts
Green Group leader Eleanor Combley today travelled to London to hand in a letter to the Treasury calling for an end to cuts to local government funding.
Greens refuse to vote for Labour’s cuts budget
At today’s budget Full Council meeting in Bristol City Hall, the city’s Green Councillors have refused to vote for the Labour Mayor’s austerity budget that proposed cuts of £34 million across Bristol, including library and public toilet closures and a large funding cut to Adult Social Care.
Raft of Green amendments passes at Budget Full Council
Bristol’s Green Councillors are celebrating today as all but one of their budget amendments at today’s Budget Full Council were passed.
Plot to ditch EU food standards threatens South West producers
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has warned of a plot by leading rightwing Brexiteers to ditch EU food and safety standards that would allow the import of US meats, drugs and chemicals currently banned in Britain.
New report on ‘Britain’s broken housing market’ & lessons from other EU Countries
Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato, has launched a report she commissioned on the UK’s housing crisis.
Opinion: Blue sky thinking not allowed – frustrations of Bristol City Council’s budget
Green councillor for Clifton Down Carla Denyer writes for Bristol 24/7 on the restrictions surrounding the budget process at the council, which she says "makes long-term thinking impossible."
“Build children’s homes instead of sending children across the country”
Green Councillor Eleanor Combley has submitted an amendment to the Council’s budget, calling for two specialist children’s homes to be acquired for children with complex needs. Councillor Combley said: “Bristol’s current children’s homes are too large and unspecialised for children with complex social, emotional or mental health needs, so these children are often sent to homes far from the Bristol area. We know that for most children in care it is better to be closer to home, near their family and communities and where they can be supported by local social workers. In Bristol 1 in 10 children in care are placed more than 20 miles from their home.”
Green councillor welcomes additional landlord licensing proposal
Below is a response from Clifton Down councillor Carla Denyer to the consultation on landlord licensing launched by Bristol City Council today (16 Feb. 18).
Greens offer budget alternatives after lack of "practical or moral leadership” from Mayor
In response to a lack of practical or moral leadership coming from the Labour Mayor’s Office, Bristol Green Party Councillors have today set out a series of suggested positive and progressive alternatives to the council’s annual budgetary hand-wringing process.
20mph proven to be safer in Bristol
An authoritative report produced by the University of the West of England and commissioned by Bristol City Council has demonstrated the safety of the city-wide 20mph zone. Greens are demanding that this should put to bed the debate about the impact of such limits.
Green amendment calls for property developers to fund homelessness prevention
At next week’s budget meeting at Bristol City Council, Green Councillor Carla Denyer will call on the Labour administration to increase emergency funding for some of the most vulnerable people in Bristol, and pay for it by raising charges on private property developments which block roads.
Brexit update from Bristol's Green MEP
A summary of the latest Brexit news from Bristol's Green MEP, Molly Scott Cato
“Don’t repeat the mistakes of the past”– Bundred report one year on
12 months ago the damning ‘Bundred Report’ revealed financial chaos, collective failure of leadership and poor management at the Council. A year on, Green Councillors have written an open letter to the Mayor saying more still needs to be done if the Council is not to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Councillors should give up parking perks to keep our parks ad-free
Green councillor, Eleanor Combley, is calling on colleagues from all parties to give up their free parking spaces at next week's budget meeting, saying the money saved could be used to protect our parks instead.
Bristol's MEP exposes the unholy alliance of ‘Bad Boys’ behind Brexit
Bristol's Green MEP Molly is today launching a website to expose the ‘unholy alliance’ of men behind the campaign to leave the EU. The ‘Bad Boys of Brexit’ website contains details of the coalition of ‘far-right ideologues, climate change deniers, tax-dodging foreign billionaires and specialists in voter manipulation’ who successfully persuaded a majority of the public to vote to leave the EU.
How many times will the police get away with misusing tasers?
Green Party Councillors have responded with shock and dismay to the news that a man with autism was tasered by police in Bristol. The man was charged with assault, before the case collapsed after his mother submitted CCTV evidence which called into question the police officers’ account of the incident.
Green Group leader responds to increase in rough sleeping figures
This year government estimates of rough sleeper numbers rose for the seventh consecutive year. Councillor Eleanor Combley responded to the situation in Bristol.
Job: Junior Constituency Assistant for Molly Scott Cato MEP in Bristol
Molly Scott Cato, Bristol's MEP, is looking for a Junior Constituency Assistant in her Bristol Office
Green Councillors horrified by out of the blue fines to dog walkers
Redland Green Councillors Fi Hance and Martin Fodor have been contacted by a number of residents left upset and distressed after having been issued fines of up to £100 for letting their dogs off the lead on Redland Green. These appear to have been issued by Kingdom, the council’s so-called litter police.
Greens say we all need to challenge airport expansion
A consultation currently underway on plans for the expansion of Bristol airport is due to end Friday 26th January.
Green response to the parks and green spaces consultation
Green response to the parks and green spaces consultation