Liberal Democrat councillors claimed Luton Council’s budget is a dumper’s charter and a danger to health after the Labour run Council rejected a Liberal Democrat alternative which would have protected free collections of old furniture, the current level of street cleaning and maintained regular inspections of fast food takeaways.
Liberal Democrat leader Cllr David Franks says;
“Charging people £25 to collect their old sofa or fridge simply means many who cannot afford to pay, or just refuse to pay, will dump their old furniture wherever they think they can get away with it. Add on the further reductions in street cleaning and it’s easy to see the town will look like a dump. The Council will have to do the clearing up so there’s a good chance it will cost more in the end and we will all have to put up with disgusting mess.”
“As the number of hot food takeaways grows rapidly our Labour Council is putting people’s health at risk by carrying out fewer inspections of food premises. They’ve already admitted the Council will not be able to meet its statutory obligations, now they are to cut back even further. It is all quite worrying really.”
The Liberal Democrat proposals would also have left the Council Tax frozen at the same level as last year instead of the 2% increase forced through by Labour councillors. So yet again Luton taxpayers will be made to pay more and will receive less.
The text of the Liberal Democrat proposed amendment was:
“That the budget be referred back to the Council’s Executive with a request that they produce a budget which is balanced and:
- Deletes the proposal to charge residents for bulky household waste collections.
- Restores the cuts to street cleaning.
- Restores the proposed cuts to food premises inspections.
- Deletes one Corporate Director post.
- Reduces the recruitment & Retention allowance provision by a further one third saving £200,000.
- Accepts the government Council Tax freeze grant.
- Uses the appropriate reserve to pay redundancy costs
- Includes a freeze in the Council Tax for Borough Council purposes.”