What you will pay by parish and band
INTRODUCING a “free- after-three” car park policy and a “living wage” for all council employees formed the basis of Labour’s proposals during the budget meeting.
The group decided against putting forward a budget and instead revealed four “key ideas” for how it would have spent the £347,000 surplus.
At the meeting Cllr Liz Savage, shadow portfolio holder for transformation and resources, said that making all borough car parks free after 3pm every day – at a cost of £103,000 per year – would be a “huge boost” to Ormskirk town centre traders.
She said: “A ‘free-after-three’ policy has worked well in many other areas of the country. The benefit to Ormskirk town centre would be great as there are a number of people who are passing through before the shops close. [It] would allow people to stop and pick up a few bits and perhaps stay a bit longer and benefit from the town’s cafes.”
Cllr Savage said that the living wage policy – effectively increasing the minimum wage for council workers to £7.45 – would cost £13,000 and benefit 31 current staff. The living wage is a calculation based on the basic cost of living, set independently and updated annually.
Cllr Savage said: “People who earn less are more likely to spend local so increasing wages to a living wage standard will not only benefit our staff but would also benefit our local community.”
The Labour group also proposed its own version of the blue bin scheme, but at a one- year cost of £680,000 paid for by the council borrowing money from itself over eight years.
The final proposal was the removal of the serving of free alcohol from the mayor’s bar – calls the group have made ahead of previous council meetings.
Cllr Savage said: “It’s abhorrent that in a time when our residents are facing such huge cuts to their income, this council believes it can spend revenue gained from those people on alcoholic drinks for councillors.”
But Cllr Ian Grant said: “The amount you are talking about creating, this fantastic pot of money to spend on all these initiatives [through money saved by axing free alcohol], is £1,200 .”
The Labour group unanimously abstained from voting for the council’s budget, citing the fact it was based on many of the national party’s policies that are “detrimental to residents” and on income streams related to the looming bedroom tax.
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