Green Councillors have called on the Mayor, Joe Anderson, to open up the city’s accounts to public scrutiny so that any proposed Council Tax increase can be justified.
Speaking after the Mayor’s comments about a proposed 10% rise in Council Tax, Green Party Councillor Tom Crone said ‘The Green Group of Councillors have been heavily criticised at budget after budget where we have put forward costed proposals for Council Tax increases of much less than that proposed now. If we’d done this earlier, and it was introduced gradually, we could’ve cushioned the authority against the threat of severely damaging cuts that we are facing now.’
‘The council needs to open up the books so that everyone can see exactly what the situation is.‘
The Greens are demanding the Council moves to a system of Zero Based Budgeting which would see every area of Council expenditure put under the microscope to ensure it is justified.
‘If we are going to stand any chance of winning a referendum for an increase in Council Tax we need to be clear, open and honest with the public about our current income and the controls on expenditure which need to show that every penny we spend is necessary. We know that tax rises are never popular, but I believe that if people really understood the impact the cuts are having on older people who cannot access social care or on other vital services, the argument can be won.’ said Councillor Crone.