It has been a while since I posted a blog on here and it has been a busy few weeks, both personally and politically.
My biggest news is on the personal front. Towards the end of last year, I gave birth to my beautiful second son. Thank you for all of the lovely messages that we received, they are very much appreciated!
Politically, it has been a busy time as well. We have been working hard on our budget proposals, outlining where our priorities lie and how we would pay for things. I am proud that a Conservative led Council would balance the books as we have done previously and freeze council tax whilst also investing in Brentwood’s future, through apprenticeships and private income generation. We’ll even set aside funds to turn back on the lights for an extra hour until 1am, subject to ECC agreement.
This is in stark contrast to what the ruling Lab/Lib coalition pushed through last week. A huge black hole in their spending plans, plugged through raiding the reserves, no tough decisions taken to cut costs and Brentwood residents lumbered with an extra £1.1m of debt, rising to £3.6m the year after, it was a pretty sorry state of affairs.
It was a tough call for who won “comment of the night”; the Leader or Deputy Leader.
The Leader purported to have delivered a balanced budget, then went on to tell us he’d done it through borrowing…( we did try to explain) and the Deputy Leader criticised the Conservatives for balancing the books when we ran the Council. I guess it’s not surprising the budget was such a mess – a one year shambolic budget for a one year shambolic administration.
Outside of the budget, we have also been busy in the wards across Brentwood.
I have personally been involved in the fight to keep the Hutton Community Centre in the hands of local people, despite the arrogance of the coalition running Brentwood Council, who have seen fit to put it in the hands of a third party based in Chelmsford, ignoring the will of local people in the process. All is not lost just yet though – along with my Conservative colleagues, we have called in the decision and it is due to go before the scrutiny panel on Monday. Let’s hope they do the right thing by the residents…
Watch this space for more updates