To that most boring of events, the council’s annual budget meeting. Where 70 councillors argue for hours over a few million quid of a £400m budget that gets passed largely unscrutinised.
Last year, the Green’s longwinded Redland Councillor Martin “Yoda” Fodor – “Ramble for hours at a tangent, I can” – spotted that there was £12.5m of CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) funding from corporate developers sat there doing nothing.
So he popped in an amendment suggesting that the money be spent on improving parks and the city’s national laughing-stock public transport system. This was voted down by Labour who claimed the money was earmarked for projects such as: City Centre/Castle Park, Whitehouse Street, Frome Gateway, Green Infrastructure (inc tree planting & biodiversity improvements), City Region Sustainable Transport Strategy and Avon Flood Strategy.
At this year’s budget Yoda reappeared, he did, and popped in another amendment asking for £1m for parks and liveable neighbourhoods after he discovered there was £12.1m of CIL still sat there doing nothing.
And Labour’s response? “The money’s earmarked for projects such as City Centre/Castle Park, Whitehouse Street, Frome Gateway,blah, blah, blah.”
Yoda’s amendment got through this time but then the Reverend’s took five days “to think about it” and then rejected it!
What a joke.