David Palethorpe

The views, thoughts and opinions of an insignificant speck in the Universe 😀

Northampton Conservatives Turn Their Back on Public Safety

Northampton Borough Council Conservatives cut public safety funding

I’ve just got home from the Northampton Borough Councils Budget meeting at which the Conservative Councillors voted to cut public safety funding and voted against the Labour Groups proposals.

I’m sure they’ll explain why when they next come knocking on the publics door asking for your votes.

What is certain is that the Conservatives have let the people of Northampton down and can no longer claim to be the party of Law and Order.

I thought I’d share the speech from the Labour Leader giving the reasons why the Borough Council should be putting public safety first,

Labour Party – Proposals to Support and Protect the Public

(rejected by the Conservatives)

Mr Mayor

I would like to thank the public for taking the time and making the effort to attend tonight’s meeting and for those who have supported Labours Public Safety campaign which illustrates the claims by the Conservatives that the people of Northampton are apathetic is just an excuse for their failure to engage with the residents.

Mr Mayor

People across Northampton are very concerned about the economy and the impact it is having on their families and ability to pay increasing bills from reducing incomes.

They have made it clear to Labour supporters and I dare say some Conservative Councillors that they are angry and frustrated at not being listened to either by the Government, County Council and Borough Council Leaders.

An example that we saw for ourselves at last weeks stage-managed Cabinet meeting under the close direction of the Leader of the Council.

Mr Mayor

We have for campaigned for taxpayers money to be used to deliver front line services to taxpayers, not to use it to support the Leaders position or for councillors to buy votes.

Mr Mayor

The Leader of the Council has constantly stated that “public services” such as the police should not hold excessive reserves and should use their under spends to cover for the Central Government cuts in funding.

Mr Mayor

Northampton Borough Council’s current level of reserves is £62.25 million and over the next 3 years the Council will receive in excess of £1 million a year in New Homes Bonus that can be used for anything that enhances the services and lives of the residents of Northampton. It is also forecast to have an under spend this year of over £500,000

The Labour budget proposals will test whether the Conservatives are prepared to practice what they preach.

Mr Mayor

 The Northampton Labour Group believe that the Borough Council shouldn’t be the funder of last resort, but when public safety and the vulnerable are at risk, in fact greater risk than before because of the Central Government and County Council cuts which have been taken with no regard to the impact on Northampton’s residents we should not stand by and just say as the Leader of this Council said recently “we’ll try to do our best”

Mr Mayor

Labours budget proposals are sound and based on good financial data provided by the Finance team for which we thank them for the excellent work they have done over the years to provide a sound and stable financial position for the Borough Council after the horrific years under the last Conservative administration.

They are also proposals that we included in our manifesto so we are being consistent in our approach, People First – Councillors Last

We propose to put residents first not Councillors or political dogma.

Mr Mayor,

I come to our proposals

 

Public Safety

Our funded proposals support the need to give residents confidence that Labour take their concerns and safety very seriously which is why we will provide funding over the next 3 years for PCSO’s.

Borough Conservatives reject Labour support for PCSO's

We also propose to reverse the decision to cut CCTV monitoring. The excuse that everything will be available for viewing later on misses the point of “constant monitoring” which linked with the police actually identifies and prevents crimes in real-time.

A great concern on public safety is as we all know, even the Conservatives, around the issue of streetlights and especially those that have been switched off in sheltered housing areas which is why will make a contribution to the Conservative County Council to have all of the streetlights in the sheltered housing areas switched back on.

Environment

Conservatives reject increase in Neighbourhood Wardens

Under public safety we cannot forget that the environment and a decent environment is essential to the well-being of the community which is why we are proposing to invest in 3 new Neighbourhood Wardens to add to the nine already in place and the one proposed by the administration bringing the total of Neighbourhood Wardens to 13.

In addition we are proposing that the current three-part time Park Ranger posts be made full-time (an increase of 1.5 posts) and that an additional Park Ranger be employed with responsibility for Beckets Park. This proposal will give excellent coverage of all our very important and much-loved parks and with 4 full-time posts would bring the number of staff employed as Neighbourhood Wardens and Park Rangers to 17.

Which is the number we had prior to the Liberal Democrat cuts in 2008 something we opposed at the time.

Mr Mayor

Labour believe that this Conservative administration is determined to ‘sell off’ Northampton and reduce it to nothing less than an organisation subservient to the County Council.

We believe the people of Northampton deserve respect not the contempt that they are being shown by the Conservatives.

Mr Mayor

These are sensible, costed and funded proposals without risk that have been discussed with the 151 officer.

I urge all councillors to decide, do you vote as you have been instructed or do you follow your conscience and vote to put the people of Northampton first.

You may of course choose to abstain or even leave the chamber when a vote is taken.

I commend the proposals to Council

“The Northampton Labour group propose the following amendments to the general fund budget, as tabled:

 

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

Withdrawal of funding of Police   Community Support Officers

100,000

100,000

100,000

Review of CCTV

39,000

39,000

39,000

Invest in 3 additional Neighbourhood   Wardens for 3 years

92,000

92,000

92,000

Make a contribution for 2012/13 to NCC   to reinstate street lights in all sheltered housing areas

150,000

Change part-time Park Rangers to full   time and employ an additional park ranger for Beckets Park

69,000

69,000

69,000

Enhanced Housing Management Charge

100,000

100,000

100,000

 

550,000

400,000

400,000

Funded   by:

 

 

 

Earmarked reserves“Helping people through difficult   times” reserve unused from last year’s budget

100,000

Earmarked Reserves Enhanced Housing Management Charge.   Not required, removed from budget as 100% high risk

100,000

Establishment of Councillor Community   Fund

67,500

67,500

67,500

NBC Leader additional admin support

17,000

17,000

17,000

New Homes bonus (2012/13)

265,500

315,500

315,500

 

550,000

400,000

400,000

Information

This entry was posted on February 29, 2012 by in Uncategorized.

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