Last night Southwark set a council tax budget which sees council tax frozen for next year. However, Labour's budget amendment which would have seen a 2% cut in council tax bills and the introduction of free healthy school meals for every primary school child in the borough was voted down by a coalition of Liberal Democrats, Conservatives and Green councillors. It was particularly disappointing that Southwark's Green councillor opposed our free school meals policy.
Labour's alternative budget would have seen us introduce measures which would have begun to tackle some of our fundamental problems - childhood obesity and child poverty, as well as rolling back many of the cuts, closures and price hikes which have been introduced by the ruling coalition in the past 4 years.
It was fairly predictable that the Lib Dems would not want to debate the merits of our free school
meals policy, but I was surprised that they voted to end the debate after just 10 minutes. Are they afraid of debating policy? Well it certainly looks like they are!
So if you would have welcomed a few more pounds in your pocket and the introduction of some truly innovative policies to improve life chances in our borough, then you could have had it from Labour's budget amendment last night. But if you still want those outcomes you can have it if a Labour council is elected on May 6th.