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Ealing Lib Dems challenge Labour-run Ealing Council with budget amendment

Ealing Liberal Democrats have challenged Labour-run Ealing Council with a budget amendment it says would “would help more vulnerable residents, make Ealing cleaner, safer and greener as well as bring back ward forums.”

With residents across Ealing set to pay an extra 4.99% from April in council tax, the Lib Dems have challenged the council during a Ealing Council budget meeting on Tuesday (5 March 2024).

Among the suggestions the Lib Dems have suggested is a saving of more than £1m a year by employing in-house permanent staff instead of using contract and agency workers.

Ealing Liberal Democrats Budget Amendment
Ealing Liberal Democrats Budget Amendment

Councillor Gary Busuttil, Liberal Democrats spokesperson on finance and resources said: “The Liberal Democrats want to see Ealing Labour focus on being less wasteful and more inventive rather than lurching from one crisis to the next and relying on a windfall of £5m to help bail them out of the resulting mess at year end.”

Councillor Busuttil added: “Lib Dems are listening to residents to fund a scheme to make our streets cleaner and safer. We will also be helping thousands of vulnerable residents as the Ealing Labour party increase our Council taxes again.

The councillor also put forward his party’s Green vision and ways to reduce anti-social behaviour.

He said: “Our amendment seeks to enhance our Climate Action & Sustainability policy by cutting the printing budget, decrease car usage by introducing a flat rate £200 permit for households with three or more cars, and the creation of a  go green scheme that encourages local businesses to work towards our net zero goals.

“Our amendment seeks to ensure that the borough of Ealing is safer by employing a Neighbourhood Liaison Officer, dedicated in bringing various stakeholders together in holistically tackling problems within neighbourhoods such as crime and anti-social behaviour.”

An Ealing Council spokesperson previously told EALING.NEWS on why it raised council tax: “Local councils are facing significant budgetary pressures after 13 years of funding cuts, but still, councils like Ealing are expected to continue to do more with less money.

“Like London’s other councils, we have no choice but to raise council tax by 2.99% to meet these pressures. When the government set out the details of this year’s financial settlement for councils in the autumn statement, they made it clear that they anticipated and expected local councils would meet the rising costs of providing services by increasing council tax to the maximum level allowed – 2.99%.

“We are also having to add the government’s 2% adult social care precept, helping with the increasing costs of caring for the borough’s older people and adults with learning difficulties and disabilities.”

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