On Wednesday evening, Liberal Democrat councillors on the Vale of White Horse District Council voted against taking meaningful action on climate change and supporting residents through the impending cost of living crisis; instead voting to increase councillors’ allowances.
Cllr Simon Howell, leader of the Vale Conservative Group said following the meeting that “the decision by this administration to vote against these proposals makes clear to residents that the Liberal Democrats refuse to put their money where their mouth is in tackling the key issues. Instead of taking steps to accelerate work to tackle climate change in the Vale, and support residents financially through the cost of living crisis, they instead chose to line their own pockets, increasing the councillors allowance.”
Ahead of the meeting, Conservative councillors proposed amendments to the budget, which included deferring the increase to member allowances, and instead put forward a £75,000 increase to the community climate initiatives for the year 2022/23, allowing community groups to kickstart vital local initiatives to help tackle climate change in the Vale. In addition to increasing funding in community climate initiatives, the proposals also included measures to support local residents financially, at a time when it is needed most, with a Council Tax freeze at the rate of £141.69 for the budget year of 2022/23.