Opposition rubbishes Labour’s budget

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BUDGET cuts could leave Yorkshire’s City of Culture 2017 scruffy, opposition councillors claim.

The ruling Labour group is proposing to reduce the frequency of grass-cutting and street-sweeping in Hull as part of plans to save £48m over the next two years.

The Lib Dems say up to 22 staff could go to save £440,000 from grounds maintenance and street cleansing. In total the council plans to make 450 redundancies.

Group leader Coun Mike Ross said: “I know that having tidy grass verges, clean streets and well maintained parks are a high priority of residents.

“It’s concerning, therefore, to have Labour councillors moving a budget which would see this service slashed.

“With City of Culture in 2017 you would have thought the administration would want the city to look its best.

“That’s why the Lib Dem group will be putting more money into the service as part of our opposition budget.”

However council leader Steve Brady said something had to give with the extent of cuts imposed by Westminster – and said attitudes to litter needed to change.

He said: “The Liberal Democrats’ own Government will have cut £20m this year and £28m next year, money we can ill afford to lose.

“With grass-cutting most people won’t see a difference whatsoever, but unfortunately with cuts you can’t pull a rabbit out of the hat every time. Services will suffer, that’s a fact.”

Coun Brady said they wanted the city centre to look “top notch” for 2017, with plans in the pipeline for a makeover of Queen’s Gardens “which will look magnificent”.

He said: “There are many schemes we are going to do in public realm to make sure when people step into the centre of Hull they are impressed by what we have to offer.”

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