Bristol Green Party opposes nationally imposed cuts which will impact the most vulnerable and calls for united commitment from the city's party group leaders to explore responsible revenue raising schemes .
Bristol's Green Party councillors today made a statement of protest saying that Bristol is having to face such severe cuts to frontline services, because of cuts imposed by the national Lib Dem-Conservative Coalition government. The Greens are calling for all political parties in Bristol to unite to consider all possible options to raise revenue for the city, including but not limited to a referendum to give residents the option of raising council tax to save services at threat.
"The Greens oppose the austerity agenda because it doesn’t work. We endorse radical financial reform, investment in green infrastructure to create jobs, and a living wage for the country which will remove reliance on state benefits for employed people,"
said Daniella Radice, Green group leader.
"The failure of our national politicians to engage in positive financial solutions, but pass the buck onto local councils is inexcusable and destructive. Bristol is suffering because of their irresponsibility."
The £90 million of cuts to Bristol's budget include the closure of almost all public toilets, the loss of the nuisance management team, cuts to the pollution control team, and the loss of the St. Paul's Learning and Family Centre. These are cuts that Green councillors pledge to fight.
"The closure of public toilets across the city will impact everyone, but in particular the elderly, and pregnant women. I have consistently fought against this cut and will continue to seek ways to keep as many toilets open as possible. This includes schemes to make maps of toilets available for public use in businesses, and investigating the option of making the toilets become pay per use,"
said Gus Hoyt, councillor for Ashley ward.
The Green Party is committed to maximising financial independence for cities as far as possible, including looking into ways the city can make money such as significant increases in council tax which ensure those who can afford to pay support those who can't across the city.
"It would be possible to raise council tax and stop these cuts. The people of Bristol should be given the choice whether to do this or not. Legally a referendum would have to be held. This is one option on the table which no one else has dared to suggest. We have to brave and look at radical solutions,"
said Rob Telford, Green Party councillor for Ashley ward.
"Politicians from all the other parties must unite together around this and make responsible suggestions for the good of the city."
The Green Party group on Bristol City Council will continue to work to protect the city from the most destructive cuts to the city's budget.