New vision for Norwich
PUBLISHED: 14:56 27 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:45 02 July 2010
The leader of Norwich City Council last night shared his vision for the future of the city with fellow councillors and was attacked by opponents for "cynical vote grabbing".
The leader of Norwich City Council last night shared his vision for the future of the city with fellow councillors and was attacked by opponents for “cynical vote grabbing”.
Steve Morphew, who leads the Labour group which has minority control of City Hall, used a discussion where the council's priorities were agreed to outline a series of pledges for the future.
His plans included a 1p-a-day council tax rise for four fifths of the city, which would pay for new food waste collections, restore early morning travelling hours for free bus pass holders and extend the council's warden service.
But the Labour group found themselves under fire from the Greens, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats because of a lack of costings in the vision.
Mr Morphew said: “This administration isn't going to make daft promises. Last year at budget time we saw parties who knew full well they would never have the chance to implement their proposals vying to undercut each other for who could suggest the lowest council tax increase.
“One would have resulted in an extra £1m budget shortfall and service cuts, and the other in bankruptcy for the council.”
Brian Watkins, Lib Dem leader, questioned where the money would come from, given City Hall was having to axe jobs, while Antony Little, Conservative leader, described his speech as “cynical vote grabbing”.
However, Mr Morphew retorted that, in their criticism, none of the opposition groups had come up with any original ideas.
He challenged them to do so when each group's budgets are put forward in the next month, at which point he said the costings of the Labour proposals would be clearly presented.