SNP and Greens strike deal on Glasgow City Council budget

The SNP and Greens have struck a deal to pass Glasgow’s budget for the coming year.
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Following lengthy talks, city treasurer Ricky Bell secured support from the Green group late last night ahead of the budget meeting this morning.

What is the deal?

He said the joint budget will address fuel poverty and help those “most affected by the cost of living crisis”.

The cost of cleaning Glasgow streets is the highest in Scotland.The cost of cleaning Glasgow streets is the highest in Scotland.
The cost of cleaning Glasgow streets is the highest in Scotland.
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There is also a multi-million pound package to “improve roads, footways and the look and feel of local areas”. New and permanent environmental teams and investment in parks and green spaces is planned too.

Cllr Bell added the budget will “address the decades of neglect of our built heritage and cherished buildings”.

A council tax rise is expected and details on that as well as any savings required, which are understood to have reduced from the expected £19.7m, will be revealed today.

Green deal

Cllr Jon Molyneux, Greens, said the budget delivered against his group’s three main priorities: the cost of living crisis, reopening and renewing community venues and accelerating.

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He said they have set a “clear expectation” that Glasgow’s “valued” foster carers deserve an increase to their allowance.

The Greens will “make sure all our museums and dozens of local venues open their doors soon too”, he added.

And there will be “progress on a free public transport pilot, a city-wide 20mph zone, a massive wildflower city plan and investment in local, renewable energy”.

As the SNP does not have a majority in Glasgow, it requires the support of other councillors to pass its budget.

Cost of living crisis

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Cllr Bell said: “This is a budget which responds to Covid recovery, to the cost of living crisis and to the priorities identified by our citizens.

“Emerging from the two-year tragedy and devastation of the pandemic, Glaswegians now find themselves facing soaring energy costs, hikes in food prices, and rising inflation and National Insurance Contributions.

“We can’t wait for the UK Government to step up to the plate. That’s why the two groups on this council representing the progressive wing of politics have come together to address the challenges Glaswegians face.”

He added: “It will come as no surprise to anyone who recognises the need to take bold, urgent and progressive action that our two groups have come together to deliver a budget responding to the immediate and future needs of Glaswegians.”

‘Working together’

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Cllr Molyneux said: “In a council where no one group has a majority, parties need to be serious about working together where they have shared priorities.

“We have shown throughout this council term that the Greens are prepared to put in the hard work, where others are happy to just wave their wish lists on budget day with no actual hope of finding agreement.

“Because we have put in that effort, we can show the difference Greens are making.”

He added: “From the other groups’ proposals, it is clear they are paying lip service to the climate emergency and they are not prepared to take the actions needed.

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“Other parties are living in the past, with nothing new to offer. Instead, Greens have pooled our ideas to create a budget which meets our citizens’ immediate needs and moves Glasgow forward in ways that are greener and fairer.”

More information on the group’s priorities, and how they will be delivered, will be revealed today.

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