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Southampton council budget meeting - live updates
This live event has finished
- Southampton City Council meeting to agree budget plans
- Windfall from government is £6.1m rather than £5.8m
- That means a glimmer of hope for some departments
- Authority needs to bridge a £16.5m funding gap
Here is a list of some of the stories that have been written in the lead up to today's decision:
- Disabled have been 'abandoned by the council'
- Boy offers money from the tooth fairy to save after-school club
- REPRIEVE: Savage cuts and hikes in fees for vital care put on hold
- Devoted mum to lose allowance for vulnerable sons
- Savage cuts threaten some of city's most vulnerable
- Fight over cuts just starting, say council rebels
- Worst cuts ever voted through by council
- Southampton council budget meeting - live updates
- Protests outside Civic Centre ahead of crucial budget vote
- Labour Rebels' budget proposals for Southampton
- Lib Dem Bidget proposals for Southampton
- Labour's budget for Southampton
- Library battlers fight for long-term pledge
- Here's how Southampton City Council plans to spend its £5.8m windfall
- £100k boost for libraries following cuts
- Lifeline to thousands of HIV sufferers facing the axe
5:01pm Wed 13 Feb 13
Stephen J says
If ever there was proof that a situation is too serious for politicians and party politics to sort out, this must be a contender.
Cllrs Against the Cuts - while admirable - your budget is still illegal!!— @LabourSatvir 13 February 2013
4:35pm Wed 13 Feb 13
Paramjit Bahia says
Cllr. Don Thomas's hard hitting full of truth and facts not only makes me proud of our ward Councillor, who is fighting against all odds for the interst of people, and excellent contribution of Keith Morrell makes me wonder how come NuLabour be so stupid to have expelled their best assets from the Party?
4:37pm Wed 13 Feb 13
That's me unemployed then!
Proceedings have been interrupted by the public gallery who clearly didn't understand what just happened.
For those not used to what happens in a budget meeting, that decision was made very quickly.
A member of the public just asked for clarity and was told the budget was carried.
It's caused an outburst from people shouting "the fight goes on" and "this is not over" before expletives were used about the Labour administration.
LCAC budget wouldn't be legal, wouldn't be passed, wouldn't be implementable & wouldn't help those they claim to help. #fantasypolitics— @darrenpaffey 13 February 2013
Labour in Southampton vote through a budget that increases council tax and charges, cuts services and sacks hundreds of council staff.— @Royston_Smith 13 February 2013
And the decision is.....Labour majority vote through the cuts
Well here we are...it's vote time......brace yourselves.....
4:34pm Wed 13 Feb 13
Steven Galton says
Re 4.08 comment can ensure you I am in the public gallery and I truly care. Respecting the majors meeting and not heckling from the public gallery should not be confused with not caring...
Great constraint is needed when listening to Labour pledging to break one election promise after another whilst increasing wreckless spending and hitting residents with tax hikes to pay for their plans
Cllr Morrell says public services in Southampton are in crisis and it will only get worse next year when those organisations that survive will be axed.
He says the fight back could have began today but labour have not acted. There is a huge round of applause from the public gallery who fully back him.
Cllr Morrell says the Labour party's strategy to keep heads down isn't good enough. He says he has been left feeling that all politicians are in it for themselves.
People are listening intently and there is no shouting from anyone in the chamber or the gallery.
His colleague and fellow ward councillor Keith Morrell is now talking. He says the people of Southampton have been told by his former party in "weasel words" that tough decisions have to be made, but what that in fact means is cuts to frontline services.
Cllr Thomas says the council should not vote for the cuts.
3:41pm Wed 13 Feb 13
This just go's to show that there is not alot diffences between Labour and the Torys.
Refusal to allow a debate and vote on an alternative budget says it all, its telling the public that they no longer represent the people but representing them selfs and there wealthy friends.
But he adds that he has really struggled with Labours decision to hit youth services. A campaign to save under threat children's home Our House, with the loss of 22 jobs to save £628,000, would "start in earnest tomorrow" he said.
Cllr Don Thomas, who formed Labour Against The Cuts with fellow Coxford councillor Keith Morrell tells the council chamber it wasn't that long ago when he was on the campaign trail telling residents that a Tory council being back in power would be devastating.....
@SouthamptonCC listening to a lively #budget debate - Tories attacking but with no real alternatives under harsh Tory funding cuts to LA— @LabourSatvir 13 February 2013
This is the quietest it's been in the public gallery, nobody seems to be getting wound up by what Cllr Vinson has to say, either that or they simply don't care?
Lib Dem opposition spokesman on his feet in Southampton budget debate. People heading for the loo— @Royston_Smith 13 February 2013
Seems Southampton's Tories have opted to present bits of a budget. Verbally. Sort of. #protocol?— @darrenpaffey 13 February 2013
Nearly two hours in and the meeting is clearly becoming a little tiresome for some councillors. Labour's Satvir Kaur is yawning and some of her colleagues are busy tapping away on their mobile phones.
Lib Dem leader Adrian Vinson now takes centre stage saying his party have the only alternative budget. He says the Labour budget is surprisingly Conservative in squirrelling away money for a rainy day "when the eye of the storm is upon us".
Cllr Smith tells his Labour rival: "You have no credibility and no integrity. Perhaps if you were here a little more and spent a little less time watching cricket in India you would know what is going on".
Cllr Smith asks why Labour leader Richard Williams needs a slush fund of £500,000 for pet projects?
He adds that the Labour group are heaping misery on motorists with new parking charges for night time in the city and a tax for some people to park outside their homes with fees for permits.
Tory leader Cllr Royston Smith says this is the worst budget he has witnessed in 13 years.
He says pensioners will suffer through council tax increases, bus cuts, paying for green waste collection and having to pay to park outside their homes if they live in a residential parking area.
He accuses Labour of "Gut wrenching hypocrisy".
- Cllr Smith has also been tweeting from the meeting. We will publish any tweets of note from any councillor inside the council chamber throughout the evening.
We'd sell off the art to save money and we'd save cash from redundancy measures as 130 jobs would be spared says Cllr Hannides.
Cllr Hannides says cutting back the art gallery opening hours puts forward an even stronger case for selling off the art which the council owns. He says £100,000 should be used to reopen Oaklands Swimming Pool.
They would have spent £75,000 on a one off spring clean for the city instead of cutting street cleaning services say the Tories.
Tories say they would have proposed freeze on council tax by accepting a government grant which Labour refused.
They say the elderly have been targeted and will see an increase of £125 a year on a typical Band D household. Same goes for special constables working in the city.
Hannides accuses the Labour group of "incompetence and ignorance" and says they could have used £440,000 they spent on consultants fees - thats the equivalent of £2,000 a day - in other ways.
Cllr Hannides says there was chaos and confusion at the top of the Labour group from the moment they came into power.
He accuses them of being ostriches who are burying their heads in the sand much to the amusement of the public gallery who are shouting "tweedle dum and tweedle dee".
Cllr John Hannides is now having his say, claiming the Labour budget is "shamefully betraying he people of this city."
He adds: "Each and every on of you is guilty of tuning your back on city residents. If you are for this budget you are against the elderly, bus users, the young, the vulnerable, the tax payers. The cuts are nothing short of grotesque. How did you end up in this mess?"
Several jobs will be saved at the under threat archaeology department reveals Cllr Payne.
Labour leader Cllr Richard Williams says Southampton needs to be innovative and grab local, regional and national economic opportunities. "We have to be more entrepreneurial if we are going to survive," he says.
Above is a photo of Cllr. Williams as he arrived for today's meeting.
3:19pm Wed 13 Feb 13
So councillors treat the mtg with disdain by taking time to tweet instead of listen!
@SouthamptonCC won't let councillors vote for no cuts. How is that democratic?!— @SotonYFJ 13 February 2013
Cllr Bogle says she wants to set up a youth forum to harness the passion of young campaigners saying their voices need to be heard more.
Cllr Sarah Bogle is now on her feet saying people have a right to be angry and passionate about what is happening, adding they are not overjoyed about making such severe cuts, but denies that the consultation has been a sham.
Cllr Letts looks like he is getting a bit hot under the collar as he tries to complete his speech.
Meanwhile Cllr Sarah Bogle, in charge of children's services, is scribbling notes on scraps of paper to leisure boss cllr Warwick Payne.
Well this is interesting, Labour are proposing that the Mayor will, from next year, use an electric car to go to public engagements!
Southampton Labour Resources Boss reading out a selection of U Turns on their budget. Perhaps they should have consulted properly first.— @Royston_Smith 13 February 2013
Some excellent deputations & petitions presented at Full Council by some of Southampton's young people. @SouthamptonCC #budget— @darrenpaffey 13 February 2013
Half of the businesses in the city currently paying business rates have appeals lodged because they are not happy. Council having to set money aside to deal with that.
Around 150 members of staff have also been involved in putting forward proposals around the cuts.
Cllr Letts says 1.96 per cent rise in council tax is "modest" and the council needs to build on its council tax base.
Mayor Derek Burke, below, warns the public gallery he will throw them out if they don't be quiet and listen to Cllr Letts making his speech.
Cllr Simon Letts, in charge of finance for the Labour group, says Southampton have been given an unfair hand by the government in cash settlement. He is having to raise his voice because he keeps being shouted down by the public who are angry.
It's all getting a little heated inside the council chamber and we are only 45 minutes in. Cllr Simon Letts is on his feet and blaming central government cuts but being barracked by the public gallery once again.
Mayor has ruled the issue "out of order" but the meeting has been briefly over run by the people in the public gallery who are shouting at councillors that they are not democratic and are now shouting "no ifs, no buts, no public sector cuts".
Cllr Keith Morrell and Cllr Don Thomas, the rebel Labour councillors, have just been told their alternative budget is "illegal" by council officers urging the mayor to throw it out.
This sparked huge outcry from public gallery who are chanting "let them speak, let them speak".
If you would like a full breakdown of the budget changes being proposed by the ruling Labour group, take a look here.
Some of the protesters outside the Civic Centre this afternoon.
It has just been revealed that the estimated £5.8m windfall that the council had to ease the cuts is in fact £6.1m. It will no doubt be a glimmer of hope for some of the people representing services under threat in the worst cuts in Southampton's history.
Mrs MacGillivray adds that removal of such essential services through cuts is "a threat to our vey democracy" and will deny those most in need of a ladder of any opportunity.
Ann MacGillivray has addressed the full council telling them libraries are "essential" as an information resource "for all people in our communities" where visitors can access any information in the universe with the help of highly trained librarians who "should be paid what they are worth for the skills they provide".
There are dozens of people packed into the public gallery above the council chamber to see what unfolds this afternoon and if their pleas to spare services from the axe are heard.
There are alternatives says Cllr Jeremy Moulton, deputy Tory leader, who says his party are against the cuts. He urges the council to use money from the housing budget to protect the service.
Another teenage youth service user, Macaulay Pancaldi, 15, from Merryoak, says he feels like he has been let down by people all his life but the service helped him get back in to school and get an education.
Youth service representative thank Cllr Don Thomas and Cllr Keith Morrell for helping in the fight to save the service. A schoolboy has now addressed the council saying "how would you feel if you loved something and it was then taken away from you."
Youth worker Danielle Miller now on her feet telling the chamber the risks to young people in areas of Southampton if cuts are implemented will be "devastating".
As reported earlier, a number of protesters gathered outside the Civic Centre in one final attempt to convince councillors to not vote in favour of the proposed budget.
Passionate plea to councillors to stand up for the young people of Southampton and have the courage and conviction to fight against the cuts today gets a round of applause.
Councillors are now hearing an impassioned plea to save the youth service which is under threat. They say its a "necessity not a luxury". The cuts are an insult to the work done in local communities.
Good afternoon from the Southampton City Council budget meeting. The meeting is underway and it's a full house in the council chamber.
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