Why we didn’t vote for the budget

Today at full council the Liberal Democrat group refused to vote for the budget. The only reason for doing this was because the budget arrived on our doorstep on Friday 2nd March, after we had already departed for a weekend in Harrogate.
We found it totally unacceptable that such a serious document which was between 150-200 sides of A4 was sent out as an “item to follow”. If the controlling Labour group expect a debate, an amendment or even an alternative budget we expect next time to receive the paper at least two weeks in advance.
We had also decided that under the same reasoning, if the opposition Tory group had submitted or proposed any changes that this too would be voted against.
Several Labour councillors failed to understand our position, believing somehow that the few consultation sessions to decide what priorities should be made are equivalent to analysing the full and complete paper.
Let’s hope that next year, whoever is in control that we can have a serious debate about how we are to spend the tax payers’ money, by ensuring that everyone has a full chance to read and discuss the proposals with the relevant officers and political groups.

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