The Swindon Labour Group will be presenting an amendment to the Council Budget at Swindon Council’s Budget Meeting on Monday 23rd February.
The amendment includes £250K worth of savings from Forward Swindon by bringing their offices and operations back within the Council, £32K will be saved from cutting the maximum number of Cabinet Members to just 8 (currently there is a maximum of 10), as well as through a 10% cut in Councillors Special Responsibility Allowances and through removing the £17K subsidy to bottled water. £250K of New Homes Bonus funding will also be used to fund one-year projects.
The Labour Group are proposed to spend this additional money on ensuring all directly employed council workers receive a Living Wage, employing 4 Youth Outreach Workers to tackle the causes of anti-social behaviour; spend £250K on additional street cleaning and £25K as one-off injection in the Library Stock.
The Labour Group Leader, Councillor Jim Grant, said: “We’re moving this amendment to the Council’s Revenue Budget to firstly to ensure all council employees have a wage they can live off and then also tackle several issues that have flagged up to us as issues in Swindon. This amendment is all about a different choice in terms of staff welfare and tackling some of the challenges Swindon faces.
Firstly, in the 21st century it seems morally irresponsible for a Council to pay staff a wage they cannot live off of. That is why we’re proposing to introduce a Living Wage for all Council employees. Other employers are doing this, most notably Nationwide Building Society, and the Council should be doing this also.
Also, we still have work to do to tackle anti-social behaviour in some of our communities and that is why we’re proposing to employ qualified youth workers to tackle the root causes of this behaviour and prevent it from happening.
The declining state of our streets and neighbourhoods is one of the regular concerns residents express to us on the doorstep so that is why we want to commission a street cleaning hit squad, where street cleaners would to go in to communities and properly clear the litter, the fly tipping and the blocked gullies. Properly cleaning up our neighbourhoods we think will give residents a greater sense of pride in their area.
Finally library users have been flagging up that the libraries book stock is in need of replenishment and updating so we are proposing a one-off sum of £25K to give library users a good and up-to-date selection of library books to choose from.”