Lib Dems unimpressed as council passes budget

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Image: Cory Doctorow
The budget includes plans to extend CCTV. Image: Cory Doctorow
The budget includes plans to extend CCTV. Image: Cory Doctorow

Islington Council has passed its 2013/4 budget, which includes plans to revamp and extend CCTV across the borough and ensures that all its children’s centres remain open.

Lib Dem opposition leader Terry Stacy and his party refused to support the passing of the budget. After Labour had spoken of the difficulties of coping with cuts, a visibly riled Mr Stacy went on the attack over money he claimed had been wasted in the last year.

He listed £1m spent on IT, £4m on redundancy payments and £8m on agencies as some of the excesses, as well as thousands of pounds spent carpeting the council leader’s office.

“Don’t sit there complaining about the cuts when this council couldn’t run a piss-up in a brewery,” Mr Stacy fumed.

He was widely heckled by those on the Labour benches, with some councillors shouting: “Is that it? Is that all you’ve got?”

All Lib Dem councillors abstained from voting on the budget after their amendment was rejected, but the plans were still passed thanks to the Labour majority.

Key focuses of the budget include a flagship bursary scheme to encourage more Islington young people into tertiary education, plans to revamp and extend CCTV across the borough, and ensuring that all children’s centres remain open.

Leader of the council Catherine West promised that Labour was committed to helping all residents. She said: “This budget stands for fairness, it stands for local people.”