Increased funding will be made available to parks deemed “under pressure” in the Brighton and Hove area.
Brighton and Hove City Council were under budget by £600,000 meaning it can now be used to pay for a weekend manager for some of the city’s biggest and busiest parks, such as The Level.
Alongside paying for a weekend park manager, some of the money will be put into the Shoreham Memorial, Saltdean Lido and more support for unions. The money will also go towards launching a community scheme for ward councillors.
Despite these potentially positive spends, Tory councillors have criticised the move, calling it irresponsible. Instead they proposed putting the additional cash in reserve until the end of the financial year.
They also described increased funding to unions as a bribe to keep them quiet after recent issues being raised about outsourcing and action threatening to be taken.
Councillor and Conservative group leader, Tony Janio, has said: “Instead what we find is £800,000 suddenly being thrown around at the administration’s will.” Before going on to suggest how he thinks the surplus should be used, “They should take the underspend in month two when there is little idea what the outcome will be in month 12, and put the money in reserves and then have a proper discussion of how to benefit the citizens of the city.”
In contrast, Councillor Gill Mitchell praised the administration for their responsibility, arguing that the Tories should welcome it: “It is responsible from the administration to get additional grass cutting and getting additional eyes and ears in parks when it is needed into evenings and weekends.”