In the run up to the last elections in 2019, York's Liberal Democrats promised to Increase investment in the Council’s frontline services, streamlining the Council’s management structure to prioritise the services that matter to residents. [York Liberal Democrats Manifesto 2019)
A recent council report has now confirmed that, by reducing the number of senior managers at City of York Council, Liberal Democrat councillors have saved local residents £200,000 every year - fulfilling another pre-election pledge.
Councillor Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Finance commented: "It is never easy to make changes to council staffing, however it is our duty to get the best deal for local residents, and sometimes that means difficult choices.
"Whilst Labour and Conservative councillors have sought to misrepresent this saving, for political ends, Liberal Democrat councillors are focused prioritising the front line services local residents rely on.”
This is just the latest in a string of manifesto pledges being met since York's Liberal Democrats formed the new council administration with the Green Party, with other achievements including:
- Creating a new street environment service, giving it funding and powers needed to reduce fly-tipping and enforce against illegal parking.
- Tackling poor air quality by delivering York’s first Clean Air Zone and committing to World Health Organisation standards for all air quality measures across the city.
- Investment in ward grants to ensure improvements can be maintained locally and the delivery of a new safer communities fund, increasing funding for local communities.
- Building more sheltered accommodation as part of a larger Older Persons Accommodation Programme, to enable more people to live independently for longer.
- Granting Council Tax relief for foster carers and care leavers in their first year.
Consecutive years of significant decline in funding from central government is now compounded by the challenges brought about by the pandemic, leaving City of York Council facing a significant budget gaps in the coming years. Despite many reassurances and pledges, the Government has ultimately failed to live up to its promise of supporting local councils. Instead, they have passed on a ‘Tax bombshell’ to local communities, demanding councils (especially those that are delivering vital social care services) cover the cost of the pandemic through regressive and outdated council taxation.
That is why we’re calling on the Government to Back York and deliver a fair funding deal that will protect services and seize the opportunities that are unique to the city, allowing us to build back better and enabling us to lead the recovery in our region and the North.