York Green Party

27 February 2015

The Council met last night to set its budget for the following year. With funding from Westminster cut once again, this is an austerity budget presenting York Councillors with difficult decisions.

Despite this, proposed Green budget amendments managed to secure support for a number of projects which will mitigate some of the worst impacts of austerity.

Young people

Young people have been hardest by the austerity agenda - youth unemployment is at a record high and three times higher than unemployment for older adults. Greens successfully called for funding to keep the Castlegate Centre open and continue to provide apprenticeships.

Retaining public services

Yearsley Pool will be funded for up to five years whilst a business case is worked out to allow this unique historic healthy living facility to become self financing

£50,000 has been reinstated into front line Libraries funding – Green councillors have consistently opposed the process of imposing funding cuts at the same time as removing the service from direct democratic control

Green Transport and health

Green proposals allocated £150,000 for city centre bus improvements including a 6-month trial of a free 'shuttle bus'. This would be a hop-on bus linking key destinations such as the central shopping area, railway station and hospital.

Councillor D'Agorne said: "The abandonment of the Lendal Bridge trial has left a legacy of political animosity towards green transport measures but we must find a way to move forward."

Some of the cost of this would be raised from small increases in car parking charges for those without Minster badges - an increase that is on a par with the increase in bus fares over the past 12 months. Air quality is a key health issue and it is no coincidence that the decline in this between 2006 - 2012 took place as bus fares rose while parking charges were largely static.

Road safety measures would also be protected, including crossing patrols, and to support the evening economy, free parking for Minster Badge holders will start at 5pm, an hour earlier, on Friday and Saturday nights.

Many of the Green Group's proposals in previous years were included this year in the budget proposal from the ruling Labour administration. Greens welcome the measures to support voluntary sector capacity building, mental health, and energy efficiency - all of which are to be funded from the New Homes Bonus.

However, consistent Green opposition to privatisation and outsourcing has fallen on deaf ears among all other parties, and more service cuts are inevitable in future years, as no other major party has pledged to oppose austerity.

RSS Feed York Green Party RSS Feed

What have your Green councillors ever done for you?
Donate to your local party
Turn York Green Party Green

Sign up here to receive our monthly updates

We'll mail you about once a month with Green Party news and updates for your area. We'll always keep your details safe, private and secure.

members' site