Bath MP Ben Howlett has welcomed the investments for Bath included within Bath & North East Somerset Council’s budget plans, which were agreed by councillors at a meeting on Tuesday, 14th February.
Ben said: “I welcome the fact that, despite the financial challenge the council faces, Conservatives are continuing to invest in the things that are important to Bath residents and deliver on our commitments.
“I particularly welcome the Council’s focus on improvements to local transport, support for more affordable homes, and investment in our local economy.
“The fact the Council Tax rise here in Bath is set to be among the lowest in the country is also a testament to the sound financial management shown by Conservative councillors.
“I am sure that other councils will be looking carefully at what can be learnt from the way B&NES has been able to protect more front line services than most areas whilst keeping council tax down.
“I welcome the fact the council is looking at innovative ways to keep important local services such as libraries open, rather than allowing them to close like in other areas, but urge that the council engage and consult residents carefully on these sorts of changes as the proposals develop.”
Commenting on some of the specific proposals in the budget, Ben said: “Given the national challenges surrounding social care, including the growth in the number of vulnerable and older people needing care, I support the Council in their commitment to prioritise these services with increased funding.
“I have worked with the Council to lobby Government on a range of projects that have delivered greater investment in Bath since becoming the MP; including funding for Mulberry Park housing, air quality management, broadband, walking & cycling and most recently the Rough Sleeping Innovation Grant. I look forward to continuing to do so.”
Regarding the opposition’s criticisms of the council’s budget plans, Ben added: “I think it’s a shame that, despite making a lot of noise about some aspects of the council’s budget, neither Lib Dem or Labour councillors put forward any alternative proposals.
“It’s all very well to criticise, but as local politicians councillors also have a responsibility to come up with solutions and wherever possible work constructively with the council leadership in the interests of residents.
“It’s disappointing that Lib Dem and Labour Councillors therefore chose to oppose whilst failing to offer any answers to the challenges faced.”