The Labour Group at South Gloucestershire Council has accused the ruling Conservative administration of failing residents in three key areas: Schools, Metrobus, and the Joint Spatial Plan.
Pat Rooney, Leader of the Labour Group said: “The Conservatives have been in control of South Glos for the past 10 years and our secondary schools are still at the bottom of the national league tables. Parents see little or no improvements, and we are still suffering from a cash starved Schools budget. This administration is failing our young people, and particularly BAME children and those with Special Educational Needs. The Metro Bus is also a failed project, which does not deliver on its fundamental objective which is to move people around the congested roads and get people to their destinations on time. Air quality is poor due to total gridlock, and this is all in conflict with our climate change strategy. The Joint Spatial Plan has been declared a total failure by Government Inspectors, who have told the council that they didn’t listen to the views of the public or identify alternative sites for housing. As a result we now have nothing to protect us from the developers.”
Pat continued: “It’s been failure after failure and it’s now our job as the Labour Opposition group to robustly challenge the Conservatives on the delivery of the promises made at the election and ensure that we challenge them on delivery of their manifesto. We also need to ensure that our new Prime Minister makes good his promise that our public services will be world class, and that he gives local councils including South Glos the sustainable funding we need to provide services, rather than dribs and drabs of money one year at a time. As part of this year’s budget setting process, the Labour group proposed funding for a number of projects from reserves, and although we were disappointed that most of our budget amendments were not carried, we are pleased that the council voted to fund our proposed specialist Domestic Abuse Advisor, if the allocated VE Day funding is not spent.”
Our amendments were:
- Additional funding for Specialist Domestic Abuse Advisors to work with men and LGBT people – this is an existing gap in provision which our proposal closes.
- A subsidy to meet the cost of Licensing for community events in South Glos, which currently is unaffordable for many community groups.
- Funding to help establish neighbourhood watch and local residents’ groups in our priority neighbourhoods, and in those areas where these groups are lacking.
- Improvements to the Parade in Patchway including new street furniture and planting to create a more welcoming community space.
- Entry to Employment funding for 1 year for Pod in the Park in Filton – a cafe that offers young people who have Special Educational Needs the opportunity to work in the cafe and work towards recognised NVQs.