The York Council at a meeting next week will be asked to jettison its prestige expenditure plans and return to a more sensible economic policy.
A motion being put forward by the Liberal Democrats condemns deteriorating roads, footpaths and increasing litter as well as plans to reduce de icing services in winter.
It says that Labour’s decision to scrap the “York Pride” maintenance programmes means that many areas are now strewn with weeds and detritus.
Recent rain highlighted the impact that Labours decision to end the routine cleaning of gullies (road drains) is already having.
Meanwhile a rather disingenuous motion from Labour Cllr Burton, seeks to justify the bill for York staging the start of just one Tour de France stage.
The cost to taxpayers is already in excess of £1.5 million and rising.
The Labour backed motion says that any income to the Council from the event should be allocate to improve basic service standards.
It fails however to say that the income from a few hot dog stands is unlikely to make much difference.
The cost of the repairs back log on the City’s roads and footpaths alone now stands at over £20 million.
The Liberal Democrat motion reads
The results of this year’s Big York Survey show that overall satisfaction with the Council is down and residents are increasingly concerned about basic service standards such as having clean and maintained streets.
The October Cabinet report, in response to the Big York Survey, says that a “realignment of priorities” to focus on basic street level services is necessary and claims that under Labour there has been a “shift in funding from day to day services” and a “cut in frontline services”. The report admits “the city needs to be cleaner”.
The cuts made to basic services under Labour have included cuts to litter bins, salt bins, road maintenance, recycling centres and street cleaning. The recent ‘Winter Maintenance’ consultation shows further cuts are planned.
The October Cabinet report states that frontline services have been sacrificed to pursue economic growth; however, as the ‘Big York Survey’ reveals residents do not believe the Labour Cabinet has been successful in supporting economic growth or job creation.
The Labour Cabinet’s proposed response to the concerns of residents is inadequate and only offers more speculative spending on a £500,000 ‘Transformation Team’, more publicity gimmicks from the Cabinet Leader, and a failure to reverse spending on vanity projects or reverse cuts to street level services.
This Labour Cabinet has lost its way and needs to get back to the basics of delivering frontline services to taxpayers in York rather than wasting millions on vanity schemes.
Council calls on Cabinet to:
1) Review funding (particularly revenue expenditure) currently supporting ‘Economic Infrastructure Fund’ schemes such as the Arts Barge, with a view to reallocating the money to frontline services and change the ‘Delivery and Innovation Fund’ to finance residents’ priorities.
2) Review the decisions that have led to the deterioration in the cleanliness of the York, including the cuts to litter bins, salt bins and gritting provision, cuts to the road maintenance budget, cuts to ward committee funding, and the decision to scrap ‘York Pride’.
3) Report to every Full Council meeting between now and May 2015 on what steps have been taken to reprioritise the delivery of frontline services to taxpayers in York.
4) Scrap the proposed £500,000 ‘Transformation Team’ and spend all available money from this on frontline services both inside and outside the city-centre and in response to the priorities of residents, Parish Councils and Residents Associations. ”