The current system of local government in Scotland is not fit for purpose. To protect jobs, save services and balance a broken budget, Green councillors have searched for ways to protect the people of Glasgow from Tory cuts.
To save the city from the deep and damaging cuts council tax rates would have to rise by an astronomical amount or revenue could be raised in a limited number of ways. However, Scottish Greens want to scrap the council tax and replace it with a fairer system and a bolder, new form of local democracy and accountability.
On Thursday Glasgow Green Councillors will propose an amendment which protects jobs and services and balances a broken budget.
Specifically, the Green budget amendment provides funding to:
- Protect the Integrated Grants Fund (IGF) which supports the Third Sector projects looking after Glasgow’s most vulnerable groups
- Build trust with staff and protect service delivery - reject imposition of cuts of £4.5m from review of staff working terms
- Set aside £3.1m to support community management of 19 community centres
- Invest £164,000 to extend Glasgow’s public bike hire scheme by installing 37 additional bike stations
- Invest £1.2 million to build 20 wind turbines in 6 sites, generating income and energy for the city
- Invest £6.7m to save money and energy in a further phase of 10,000 LED street lights
- Introduce a Clyde Tunnel Toll (generating up to £20m a year for roads, pavements and cycle infrastructure), cutting air pollution & tunnel congestion
Colin Howden, director of national transport alliance Transform Scotland, said in the Evening Times: "The Clyde Tunnel has always been a significant draw on Glasgow's finances so it is only reasonable that its users make a contribution to its upkeep.
"This measure will have precisely no impact on the more than half of Glasgow's households that have no access to a car. These are often the lower income households in the city yet they are currently subsidising car drivers to use the Tunnel.
"Glasgow needs new funds to invest in its transport network, and we would be pleased to see any surplus from this measure re-invested in road maintenance and projects to encourage more sustainable car use."