Labour Group Propose a Balanced Budget To Revive Regeneration And Protect The People

The Hull Labour Group has announced its proposals for 2012/13 in a budget that is balanced and aimed at reviving regeneration and protecting people.

During the present economic approach by the Coalition and the resulting funding shortfall it is essential that Labour stabilises the Council’s finances, the organisation, and the economic wellbeing of the City. Labour made that commitment last June and will deliver in 2011/12, making that pledge again for 2012/13.

Building on the principals of the Emergency Budget Re-alignment in June 2011, Labour is as committed as ever to provide best value services to the people of the City, promote jobs and investment and to ensure our communities are defended from the worst aspects of government policy as much as possible. Despite economic cuts Labour has constructed a budget that is balanced, achievable, supports the local economy, supports vulnerable people and provides a commitment to jobs and services.

Among the headline figures Labour is pleased to confirm is the commitment to future jobs and business represented by the £5m to support infrastructure development in relation to Siemens. As part of the same commitment to local businesses and retailers there will be an additional £1.2m for the core regeneration fund to avoid rent increases during challenging and austere times.

There will also be an extra £1.25m available for disability grants and adaptations to help people with disabilities live a fuller and independent life. Last year Labour forced the previous administration to replace £1.5m stripped out of Supporting People Funding but this was a one year commitment from the Lib Dem Administration. Labour is pleased to announce that this £1.5m has now been placed as ongoing funding into the Council’s revenue base going forward. This followed a meeting with the voluntary sector before Christmas to reassure them of this commitment.

Last year Labour allocated £6m to improve roads and the same figure will be allocated for 2012/13 in recognition of the significant and on going challenge of maintaining and repairing this key infrastructure network.

Labour will also commit to the keeping the day centres open which featured in our principal commitments last year. Funding has been provided to keep Labour’s all day free bus travel for older people and people with disabilities as well our longstanding pledge to provide free holiday time swimming for children and young people.

Last June Labour reversed the cuts to the Music Service, replacing £200k to keep this valuable educational and cultural service open. This funding is confirmed for 2012/13 with the addition of a further £75k. Labour has also provided to reduce primary school meals form the current £1.30 to just £1 per meal in all primary schools that wish to participate in the scheme. These measures will help people during tough times.

Labour has also provided funding to shore up and improve fostering and preventative services, guaranteeing funding levels going forward to help children and families. There will also be a 10% rise in funding to youth services at a time when young people are needing help and assistance.

Councillor Daren Hale, Cabinet Member for Finance said:

“Hull’s Labour Administration will not be passive observers in this grim recession, it is our duty to come out fighting for Hull’s economy, to shield the city from the spectres of unemployment and a loss of hope that is spreading across the Country. Within the tight constraints of local government spending we believe this budget achieves that. We would have liked to do more but this positions the city in the best way possible right now”.

Hull City Council Labour Group Office – 01482 615098

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