Greens call on the council to listen to Sheffield people
Sheffield Green Party Councillors have revealed how little it would cost to save Sheffield’s libraries and find much-needed funds to support elderly and disabled people and the city’s poorest households.
They want to prevent some of Labour’s budget cuts by a small rise in council tax – less than 50 pence a week for most households. The Green Councillors say this should be put to the public in a referendum on 22nd May, at the same time as the Council and European Parliament elections.
Green Cllr Jillian Creasy commented, “A council tax rise of 2.95% could raise enough to keep all the libraries open; double the council tax hardship fund for the poorest 30,000 households hit by the loss of council tax benefit; and put £2 million back into services for older, disabled and vulnerable adults. These services are under ever more demand as the cuts bite. Our proposals aim to keep levels of care safe, maintain a quality of life for disabled people and stop the pay and conditions of care workers being cut even further.”
She added “We know many people are on tight incomes. But the Council hasn’t increased council tax since the cuts began. The city now has £20 million less to spend than if council tax had just increased in line with inflation. The coalition government threatens to destroy local communities – it’s up to Sheffield Council to protect them.”
- Government rules require any Council to conduct a referendum if it proposes to increase council tax by more than 2%. This would take place in May, at the same time as the Council and European elections. It would enable Sheffield residents to decide whether they are willing to pay a bit more to protect local communities and look after people most in need.
- Sheffield Green Party will present its more detailed 2014/15 Council Budget proposals before the budget-setting meeting on 7th March 2014.
- A 2.95% increase in Council Tax would mean a rise of about 48p per week for the majority of Sheffield households – and less for single-person households.