SCRAPPING a facelift for York’s city-centre and a new £70,000-a-year council role are among a political group’s 2014/15 budget proposals.
City of York Council’s Liberal Democrats say they would cancel the £3.3 million Reinvigorate York scheme and the recruitment of a “head of transformation” through their budget amendment, which will be debated with other parties’ financial plans tomorrow night.
The group would accept a Government grant to freeze council tax, with the ruling Labour group proposing a 1.9 per cent increase, and say they would reverse £3 million of cuts to services including community and children’s centres, youth services, gully-cleaning and grants to voluntary groups.
They would retain the Minster Badge discounted parking scheme, which may end under Labour’s plans, reduce the size of the council’s cabinet, introduce a scheme to cut council carbon emissions over ten years and reinstate winter green bin collections.
Lib Dem leader Coun Keith Aspden said a new £500,000 community fund would be created for residents to spend on “local priorities”.
He said: “Experience tells us residents know where money should be spent in their communities, not council officers sitting at their desks, and our plans would also begin to curb Labour’s reckless borrowing which has seen interest payments and debt charges climb.”
Council leader James Alexander said the Lib Dems would not provide £10 million for a new bridge opening up the York Central site for development.
He said: “It is disappointing they have come out against public investment in getting this site developed, which is needed to secure well-paid jobs and decent homes. They want to continue to hold York back by jeopardising pump-priming of private sector investment using public funds.”