‘Enough is Enough’ – Green Councillor Alex Phillips speaks out against Brighton cuts
Yesterday Brighton and Hove City Council held a second budget-setting meeting after a Green rebellion led to last Thursday’s full council meeting unable to pass a budget, due to six Greens arguing for a ‘no cuts’ budget.
A Green/Labour compromise budget was passed.
But three Green councillors (plus suspended Green Ben Duncan) held their anti-cuts line. Here’s Green Councillor Alex Phillip’s budget speech from yesterday’s Brighton and Hove City Council budget-setting session in full:
Thank you mister mayor.
Firstly I’d like to thank Ollie Sykes for all of the work that he’s put in to this budget, with what is the worst background of cuts coming down from central government that we have ever seen before.
Secondly, I’d like to respond to Cllr Daniel & Cllr Mitchell by saying that when we were in opposition, as the smallest party, as Labour are now mister mayor, we created our own alternative budget – our own vision. Labour aren’t doing that, they are simply tweaking around the edges with amendments, that’s because they have no vision whatsoever for this city mister mayor, not locally and not nationally.
I do, however, understand the very difficult decision all councillors in this chamber have to make today.
And I am incredibly lucky that I am in a party where we do politics differently, we don’t have a whip and we have the opportunity to vote with our own consciences. The context for me here today, is one of austerity, and with 85% of government cuts hitting women, and with vulnerable groups being disproportionately affected, it is time to stand up and say enough is enough.
That is why today I will be refusing to implement further cuts coming down from central government.
But let’s also be clear about this – a Labour Government would not change austerity – they want it too. And I am not going to support governments that plough ahead with an austerity agenda that damages the poorest in society. Westminster’s cosy consensus on economics has failed categorically and comprehensively. And the human cost of this ideologically-driven austerity agenda is too high a price to pay with the most vulnerable bearing the heaviest burden – the results of which are continuing to do considerable harm to people’s wellbeing in this city.
I say, enough is enough!