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Southwark’s budget debate: hear what SE1 councillors had to say

On Tuesday night Southwark Council met to agree its budget for the next year. Hear what councillors from Bermondsey, Borough and Bankside had to say during the debate.

The presentation of this page is an experiment: see note below

Cllr Richard Livingstone (Labour) introduced the budget recommendations for the coming year:

Listen!

Cllr Tim McNally (Lib Dem, Chaucer ward) moved the Liberal Democrat budget amendment:

Listen to this audio clip [MP3]

The Lib Dem amendment was seconded by Cllr Anood Al-Samerai (Riverside ward), leader of the main opposition group.

Listen to this audio clip [MP3]

Cllr Graham Neale (Lib Dem, South Bermondsey ward) used his speech to highlight the work of the Walworth-based recycling project CRISP which will lose some of its funding this year:

Listen to this audio clip [MP3]

Former council leader Nick Stanton (Liberal Democrat, Riverside ward) spoke from the back benches to lay the blame for the cuts at Labour's door:

Listen to this audio clip [MP3]

Cllr Poddy Clark (Liberal Democrat, Chaucer ward) said that her constituents on the Rockingham Estate would feel the impact of the cuts.

Listen to this audio clip [MP3]

Cllr Claire Hickson (Labour, Chaucer ward) said she was "dismayed" by the impact that Government-imposed cuts would have on her constituents in SE1:

Listen to this audio clip [MP3]

Cllr Mark Gettleson (Liberal Democrat, Grange ward) used his speech to oppose Labour's plans to start a pilot of universal free school meals for primary school pupils:

Listen to this audio clip [MP3]

Cllr Adele Morris (Cathedrals ward) is the Liberal Democrat shadow cabinet member for communities and citizenship. She used her speech to speak up for the voluntary sector in Southwark, including Bankside Open Spaces Trust which will be affected by cuts to the council's ecology grant programme.

Listen to this audio clip [MP3]

Cllr Michael Bukola (Liberal Democrat, South Bermondsey ward) argued against cuts to the school crossing patrol service (aka lollipop ladies):

Listen to this audio clip [MP3]

Cllr Denise Capstick (Liberal Democrat, Grange ward) – who is a nurse by profession – spoke on the importance of adult social care in the borough.

Listen to this audio clip [MP3]

Lib Dem health spokesman Cllr David Noakes (Cathedrals ward) spoke in support of a late amendment which will provide 500,000 to maintain day centres for the elderly for a few more months – such as the Stones End Centre in SE1 – while the full impact of the cuts is assessed.

Listen to this audio clip [MP3]

A note from the editor

Last year I encouraged Southwark Council, through its democracy commission process, to allow journalists and members of the public to make – and publish – audio recordings of council assembly meetings.

This change to the council's constitution was agreed (see Guardian blog post by Roy Greenslade) and this new provision was used for the first time on Tuesday night.

This page of audio clips is an experiment – your feedback is invited as to how we can provide audio reporting of council meetings that is fair, accessible, interesting, relevant and not too labour-intensive to produce.

On this occasion I have chosen to highlight the speeches made by councillors from the five wards that make up the Bermondsey, Borough and Bankside areas. This means that 10 out of the 11 clips are from Liberal Democrat councillors. There is no intention to favour a particular party's point of view, but merely for SE1 residents to be able to hear what the people they have elected are saying in the council chamber.

Clearly, this poses a challenge as to how we present a fair account of the council's proceedings whilst ensuring that contributions relevant to our part of the borough are front and centre.

This week's meeting was unusual in that most of the evening was given over to debate on a single topic: the budget. At an ordinary council assembly meeting there are different types of exchange (such as members' question time) which in future will provide opportunities to present a more balanced selection of clips whilst continuing to focus on topics of particular SE1 interest and on interventions made by SE1 councillors.

James Hatts

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