Labour councillors voted on Wednesday 19th December to stash away £1.3M in a Council piggy bank rather than invest it in a desperately needed beefing up of local action to reduce anti-social behaviour.
At the meeting of the Council’s Performance, Resources & Assets Scrutiny Committee Liberal Democrat members proposed that the Council Executive should be advised to use the money to fund a strengthening of the Police/Council joint Community Safety Unit and to set up a Community Payback Scheme to make anti-social behaviour offenders accountable for their actions. Instead, Labour councillors wanted to stash the money away in what Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition calls a Council piggy bank.
“I could not believe what I was seeing when Labour councillors Malik, Akbar and Kiansumba voted against these proposals both of which were commitments in Labour’s election manifesto only seven months ago,” said David Franks.
“Do they think the problem of anti-social behaviour will just go away? It is unbelievable that they wanted to turn their backs on this real opportunity to beef up activity by the Council and the local Police to deal with a serious and difficult problem faced by thousands of Luton residents. Labour is soft and timid when it comes to strong actions.”
Because one Labour councillor did not turn up, and therefore could not vote, the committee supported the Liberal Democrat proposal with all the Labour members voting instead to divert the money to reserve funds. The Council’s Labour Executive will decide on 7th January whether to increase Council and Police action against anti-social behaviour or to boost reserve funds by £1.3M.