July Council Budget Supports Children and Communities and Starts To Tackle The Climate Emergency

children playing

The new Green- Lib Dem administration’s July ‘mini-budget’ brought forward
measures to support children and young people and tackle poverty in York. These
included continuing support for the community-based food poverty ‘hubs’ that
have developed around the city over recent years, the establishment of an
‘inclusive growth’ fund to help tackle child poverty and promote lifelong
learning, additional investment in children’s social care, support for care
leavers and for children with special educational needs (SEND), additional
foster carer recruitment and a £250,000 fund for investment in new play
equipment across the city.

Climate Emergency

Initiatives to make a start on tackling the climate emergency include the
appointment of a Carbon Reduction and Sustainability Officer, investment in
more tree-planting and a review of waste collection services. The budget also
ensured sufficient funds to continue subsidising bus services at current levels
and initiated a study into how we can improve public transport in York,
particularly to meet the levels of development in the Local Plan – including
consideration of light transit systems. An additional £1 million was invested
in walking and cycling provision, £1 million capital investment to start
improving energy efficiency (and reducing fuel bills) in the city’s council
housing stock and additional staff capacity to produce stronger planning
guidance on zero carbon development.

Housing First

Measures were also included to improve ‘continuing health care’ for older
people, expand our use of the ‘Housing First’ approach and 24/7 supported
housing for people with complex mental health needs, investment in substance
mis-use services and adult social care. An additional £250,000 ‘Safer and
Inclusive Communities Fund’ was included for ward-level spending on local
needs, with new investments in road repairs, council housing maintenance,
tackling graffiti, increasing the number of litter bins, speeding up the
waiting list for Respark and supporting a more family-friendly city centre.

Guildhall Green Party ward councillor and Executive Member for Housing and
Safer Neighbourhoods, Denise Craghill said ‘Many of these measures are still in
the process of being implemented and there is much more to be done. We can’t do
everything in a mid-year ‘mini-budget’, but I believe this is a good start for
our Council partnership.’ 

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