The Bolton Liberal Democrats will aim to reverse cuts to services for looked after children, increase funding for road maintenance and provide more money for helping the homeless with their amendment to the council budget on Wednesday.
Councillor Roger Hayes, who will be moving the amendment, said:
"Whilst we understand draconian cuts by the current Tory government are making it increasingly difficult for councils to deliver much needed services, we are confident our amendment can successfully reverse some of the cuts by this Labour Council that would affect some of the most vulnerable children and young people in the borough
"We live in a Town with a large number of looked after children and we firmly believe that services for these vulnerable young people need to be protected. By reducing Special Responsibility Allowances for councillors, and scrapping the Bolton Scene magazine we can save enough money to reverse the cuts affecting those children and families that need support the most."
The amendment also includes the regular Lib Dem policy of cutting councillors by a third. A policy the party have been fighting to implement since 2013. As Cllr Hayes continues:
"As and more residents turn to digital channels to get in touch with their local representatives it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify the cost of having three elected members in each ward. By reducing the number of councillors from three per ward to two we can save over £300,000 a year in allowances and election expenses."
The Liberal Democrat amendment includes fully costed proposals to:
- Provide an extra £4 million for residential road repairs.
- Reduce Councillor SRAs by £62,000 and scrap the Bolton Scene to save £53,000. Use the savings to reverse cuts to corporate parenting/virtual school and children leaving care.
- Reverse cuts to the school meals subsidy.
- £83,000 to fund dog fouling enforcement and education.
- Scrap the £1 million capital investment in Bolton One sauna facilities and use the money to provide a £500,000 investment to tackle homelessness and £450,000 investment in a competition to encourage high-value, high-tech industry in the town.
- Invest £2 million in the successful empty homes scheme, bringing more of the nearly 5,000 empty homes across the town back into use.
- Approach the electoral commission with a view to cutting the number of councillors from three per ward to two in order to achieve savings of over £300,000.
- Recover the £300,000 grant paid out to Asons solicitors and use the money, to delay for one year any cuts to Positive Activities free play service and youth service provision - protecting between 30-52 council positions.