Redbridge Council’s budget approved during heated meeting
The council’s 2013/14 budget was approved during a heated meeting last night in Redbridge Town Hall.
Councillors gathered to finalise and approve the budget detailing spending and cuts over the next financial year.
The Labour group – the opposition party – was criticised for not proposing amendments to the budget.
Instead, 21 Labour councillors abstained from the vote to approve the revenue budget.
But support from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – who run the council as part of a coalition – was enough to see it and other parts of the budget through.
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Defending the abstentions, Labour deputy leader Cllr Wes Streeting said is was hard to vote for something tabled in a “hugely complimentary and self congratulatory way”.
His party leader Cllr Jas Athwal earlier warned of “storm clouds” brewing after the 2014 election and urged the leadership to “think beyond” 2014.
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But Conservative Cllr Nick Hayes, addressing Labour’s decision not to propose any budget amendments, said: “Yet again they have nothing to say and nothing to contribute”.
Budget proposals approved include increased charges for some parking in the borough and a merger of social work teams.
Council tax will be frozen for the fourth consecutive year.