Southwark Liberal Democrats have submitted their alternative council budget. With Southwark having had the highest level of knife-crime in London, they are calling for the Council to allocate £1million a year to fund a dedicated specialist unit of police officers to combat it.
To fund this, they propose to slim down the council’s press machine to a more reasonable level, as well as cutting perks such as car leases for senior executives and the infamous ‘Golden Goodbyes’ for retiring Cabinet Members that no other council in the country hands out.
They are also calling for a new ‘hub’ for rough sleepers to be established, which will be funded by a ‘Tourist tax’ on hotel guests and a borough-wide licensing scheme. The new licensing scheme will ensure that every landlord in Southwark will provide a decent standard of housing for every tenant in the borough.
Independent Council Officers have formally signed off on the Lib Dems alternative budget as fully costed and deliverable.
Cllr Anood Al-Samerai, Leader of the Southwark Liberal Democrat council group said:
‘We can’t and shouldn’t ignore the huge rise in knife-crime and rough sleeping. It is a tragedy. Politicians can’t solve everything, but our plans will make a real difference.
Our plans are fully costed, so it just comes down to a matter of priorities. Our priority is to have more police officers rather than press officers. It’s to have more beds for rough sleepers, rather than pointless perks like Golden Goodbyes for cabinet members.
We hope Labour councillors will put narrow party interests aside and support our proposals to build a safer and fairer Southwark that works for all.’