Green Councillor for Clifton East, Carla Denyer represented Bristol at Number 10 Downing Street today, joining Green Councillors from across the country to hand in a joint letter1 calling on the Conservative government to end the destructive cuts to local government.
The letter calls for an end to the government’s ideologically-driven austerity programme and comes ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on 25th November.
Councillors were joined by Natalie Bennett, Green Party Leader and Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion.
Bristol Green Councillor, Carla Denyer said:
“Further cuts to local authorities will devastate frontline services and it is the most vulnerable in our society who will be the worst affected. “
“The letter we handed in today gives countless examples of the far-reaching impact of the callous local authority cuts. In Bristol this includes the loss of £255m from the Housing Revenue Account over the next 10 years, which will wipe out Bristol’s cross-party approved plan to build desperately-needed council housing.”
“We are calling on the Prime Minister to ensure that local government services are protected from further cuts in the spending revue later this month”.
Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett said:
“Green councillors up and down the country tell me on a daily basis how this government’s cuts are wrecking essential services and damaging communities.”
“The Green Party is calling for a genuine review of economic policy in this Spending Review. Rather than Chancellor George Osborne continuing with his austerity agenda for the next three years, we must invest in people, in secure energy, and in vital welfare support.”
Bristol Green Councillor, Anna McMullen who recently questioned the mayor2 on mitigating the welfare cuts in Bristol concluded:
“Earlier this month the Mayor confirmed that Bristol will not replace vital welfare support such as the independent living fund.”
“The Government has to put a stop to the shattering cuts that are preventing local authorities from delivering services to the people they work for”.
Subject: Bristol’s approach to the budget this year with respect to the national welfare cuts
You will be aware that many vulnerable people groups in our city are going to face significant changes to their welfare support in the coming budget cycle, including people with disabilities, young people, large families etc. which may result in homelessness, isolation, destitution, and other outcomes. Although it is clear that officers have taken considerable care within their budget areas to look at how we respond to welfare cuts, a wider change of tack with respect to budget setting, I feel, is needed to specifically address this crisis.
Will the Mayor consider a strategic reallocation of spending to support the needs of people impacted by the significant welfare reforms being imposed on Bristol. Specifically, to:
a) Allocate extra resources to work out an adequate overarching response across departments to the welfare cuts,
b) Redirect funds to front line services that specifically support those who are going to be adversely impacted by multiple welfare cuts.