Greens on Sheffield City Council have proposed a plan to help fund local public services following years of cuts.
Walkley Green Councillor, Bernard Little, at Wednesday’s Full Council meeting, will propose a plan of action to address the Government cuts that mean that the Council has £856/household per year less to spend on local services than in 2010.
Councillor Little said,
“What really concerns me is that neither the Conservatives, nor a potential Labour-led Government, have a proper plan for ensuring cash-strapped councils get the funding they need to deliver the services so many people rely on.
“The good news is that the answers to how we raise the funds needed have been developed here in Sheffield. The ‘Taxing Wealth Report’ (1) being produced by Economics Professor Richard Murphy of Sheffield University, shows that, by fairly taxing the top 1% of the wealthy and high earners, the Government could raise £83.3 billion each year. Unfortunately, this is something that both Labour and the Conservatives are unwilling to consider.
“In the absence of a plan from both larger parties (2) the Council needs to develop its own plan to make it more resilient to funding cuts, whether it is a Conservative or Labour Government that is imposing them.
“Greens are proposing three policies to bring much-needed extra cash to support local services.
“Establishing a wholly-owned Council company to help deliver the council’s objectives and raise income by delivering reliable services for Sheffield residents. These could be useful services such as gardening, household repairs, heating system servicing and replacement and retrofit works. This has been successfully piloted by Oxford City Council where, this year, it will make a £600,000 contribution to council funds. (3)
“We need to invest in renewable energy projects on Council land and buildings to generate energy and income. Cambridgeshire County Council will soon be receiving £1 million each year from a solar farm it has developed. (4)
“Introducing an Employers’ Workplace Parking Levy to help fund public transport, road safety and active travel measures. This could raise around £10 million each year. This has been successfully trialled in Nottingham where they have raised nearly £100 million and attracted over £1 billion in investment for public transport and active travel over the last 10 years. (5)
“Together, these measures will improve the standards of our homes, our transport and our quality of life for everyone in Sheffield.”
(1) Taxing Wealth Report – Professor Richard Murphy
(2) Labour needs to level up its offer to local government
(3) Oxford City Council Medium Term Financial Strategy – Page 20
(4) How Cambridgeshire Council is raising revenue with solar farms – Friends of the Earth
(5) Nottingham’s Workplace Parking Levy – 10 year impact report