Hull City Council today (25/2/21) met to decide its budget for the next financial year.
The debate saw Labour councillors admit their budget would see the council 'stand still' before voting it through. The Liberal Democrats presented an alternative plan, aimed at moving Hull forward, with a number of new spending commitments on roads, crime prevention, and mental health services.
The Liberal Democrats state that the city faces tough times ahead and have put together a proactive alternative budget to face it head on. Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Hull City Council, Cllr Mike Ross, said: "Now is the time for real leadership to face the challenges ahead and this Labour 'standstill' budget just doesn't do that."
The Liberal Democrats have today announced their alternative budget proposals ahead of the annual Hull City Council budget meeting. The party intend to invest £500,000 into a Crime Prevention Fund, nearly £1m for cleaner & greener communities all while undercutting Labour's Council Tax hike by 1% point.
Liberal Democrat Councillors are presenting their alternative budget plans as ones that will help Hull rebuild and move forward after the devastating impacts of Covid19, alongside years of an outdated Guildhall Labour administration.
Liberal Democrat Councillors will be pushing for funding for the city’s high streets, a fund to crackdown on rogue landlords in the private rented sector, while cutting the council comms budget, such as the "Love Labour" vanity project, "Love Hull ", saving £137,000.
The Liberal Democrats have added their weight to efforts to save the Kirkella fishing vessel. They have launched a petition that reached over 270 signatures in just 48 hours. They have also taken the issue to Parliament, with a Written Parliamentary Question tabled by Liberal Democrat Baroness Harris of Richmond.
Baroness Harris and her Lib Dem colleagues asked a number of questions about the fishing arrangements post-Brexit, including an explicit question on Hull's Kirkella Trawler. The question was:
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to compensate (1) the crew of, and (2) those employed through the supply chain of the catch from, the Kirkella trawler which has been unable to operate due to not having access to distant fishing waters.
Bude Park is going to be given significant improvements to its facilities, including new changing rooms after Lib Dems fought for the Council to approve the use of local area funds.
Improving Bude Park has been a long term project that both Lib Dem Councillors in Kingswood and West Carr have been working alongside communities to realise.
The Hull Liberal Democrats have slammed the council for being "wasteful" and "misleading" after it has been revealed an outdated letter estimated to cost over £73,000 was sent to every resident in the city by Council leader Stephen Brady.
The letter, dated 17th November, arrived on doorsteps many days (in some cases over a week) after the date stated what residents found to be outdated information around Christmas and other Coronavirus guidelines.
Responding to news that children's free school meal food parcels in Hull have been identified as falling far short of the mark, Lib Dem Councillor Linda Tock has voiced her concern:
The Liberal Democrats have condemned the Chancellor for failing to introduce a comprehensive plan to save jobs after it was revealed that 16,440 of people in Hull are currently on Universal Credit.
Liberal Democrat Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine criticised Rishi Sunak's "constant chop-and-change approach", urging him to put in place a proper plan to protect jobs as the Government still struggles to get a grip over rising cases of coronavirus.
Local Lib Dems have raised concerns about how prepared the ports in Hull are for Brexit customs and border changes. Linda Chambers, who is on the Hull and Goole Port Health Authority spoke out after receiving a briefing on the preparations.
She has raised concerns whether the staffing will be in place and sufficiently trained in time for Brexit at the start of the New Year.
Lib Dem Councillor Linda Tock has hit out after the government acted quickly in London where they were slow to respond in Hull. This follows news that Secondary schools in London, Kent and Essex were going to be mass tested for Covid19, but not Hull.
Hull was top of the news headlines for weeks with the highest Covid19 infection rates and yet has been left out of these latest Government plans. The infection rates in Hull are still very high and in recent weeks have seen well over half of schools in the city having cases of Covid19.
The Liberal Democrats in Hull have stepped into action again in a bid to protect Hull's cultural offer, following the news that Hull Box Office has gone into liquidation.
The Lib Dems have launched a campaign to protect the legacy of Hull as the City of Culture after it has been put at risk by the pandemic.