BREAKING NEWS! Brighton Green Party passes motion supporting 'No Cuts'
budget - Join the resistance
Breaking news from Brighton
This is the full and final text (below)
of the No Cuts motion passed by a large majority at a quorate and ell attended meeting
of the Brighton & Hove Green Party today.
The General Meeting sets
policy for the party, but cannot "instruct" Green Councillors.However,
given that the General Meeting is "the primedecision making
and organisational body for the BHGP", and has now made this vital
policy decision, the party expect Green -Councillors to abide by it, and
if they feel they cannot, to step down. It remains to be seen what will
happen when the Budget comes up for decision in late February, but the local -party has
now made its position very clear - Green Councillors should not vote for
any cuts budget or abstain so as to allow one to pass; and after this
the party and councillors should lead a campaign of resistance to
imposed cuts. If Green Councillors vote for a cuts budget of any
kind then they would be defying the clear and democratically expressed
wish and policy of the local party.
This General Meeting notes the Motion passed unanimously (with one
abstention) at the December 2015 General Meeting that the Brighton &;
Hove Green Party supports the production of an alternative Budget for
2015-16 that would protect local services and
employment, not cut them.
The cuts to local services required to "balance the budget"
for 2015-16 are the direct result of massive and unprecedented cuts by
central government to the local government support grant, cuts which
could mean a further cut to the Brighton & Hove budget of over
£100 million by -2020. This will effectively destroy
local services as we know them.
The cuts required to balance the budget for 2015-16 alone would
require a restoration of more than -£20 million of government
grant or a Council Tax rise of over 20%. The proposed 5.9% Council Tax
increase is therefore not viable as a means to fight
the cuts or defend the vulnerable. It is a regressive tax on
the poorest, and it would hardly dent the massive cuts still
required. To propose
this rise in Council Tax in conjunction with a cuts budget
would fatally undermine the Green Party's -anti-austerity stance
locally and nationally. It is the worst of all worlds.
We are now seeing a "Green surge" and rising membership
especially amongst younger voters, the –primary reason for which is our
inspiring anti-austerity message. If the only example in the UK of the Green
Party in office were to implement a large cuts budget just before the 2015
General Election that would disillusion and alienate many of those
new supporters. It is likely it would severely damage not only the local
party but the national party's prospects in the
election. The Brighton & Hove Green Party will not
support any Brighton & Hove -Council Budget for 2015-16 that makes further
cuts to local services.
We support a no cuts budget identifying how much government grant now
needs to be returned to Brighton & Hove to avoid horrendous damage
to local services. It is therefore the policy of
Brighton & Hove Green party that any budget that
makes further cuts to local services should not -be
voted for by the Green Group of Councillors, nor abstained
upon to allow it to pass.
The Brighton & Hove Green Party advocates a strategy of complete
resistance to implementing further cuts to local services, including
A massive communications campaign to explain a) why the Green Party is
adopting this policy,
b) the devastating effect of the level of cuts suggested for 2015-16 and
the years beyond,
and c) that Labour and the Conservatives will deliver those cuts because
they have no policy or strategy to resist them.
Refusal to assist any officials sent by DCLG to enforce a cuts
budget upon Brighton &Hove,and wide publicity to explain this refusal.
Working with the Brighton & Hove People's Assembly, local campaign groups
and trade unions -to publicise and implement this strategy and to create a
focus of resistance to cuts and the austerity
We support a no cuts budget identifying how much government grant now needs to be returned to Brighton & Hove to avoid horrendous damage to local services. It is therefore the policy of