For the last decade, Camden Conservatives have tabled alternative budgets to demonstrate the practical difference between a Conservative-run Camden and one continuing to be mismanaged by Labour.
Each year, we propose realistic, costed savings from waste that we've identified each year in the council. This can then be reinvested in further services: from restoring weekly bin collections and ending the garden tax, to investing in more police and reopening police bases, to increasing investment in our schools, to protecting our community pubs and libraries.
Each budget amendment must by law be balanced, and the costings of proposals are done by council officers, so these alternative budgets reflect the council's real estimate of the costs and savings from individual policies.
They are tabled in the form of amendments each year, so they use the administration's budget as a foundation. Therefore, all decisions to invest in services are priced in already - our amendment is simply the difference.
By rejecting the amendment, Labour and Lib Dem councillors therefore demonstrate that they do not want the additional services and lower Council Tax, even though they are funded solely by cutting waste - without cutting services anywhere else.
It shows that the only way to get a cleaner, greener, safer Camden is with a Conservative-run Camden.
2019/20 Alternative Budget:
Towards a cleaner, greener, safer Camden
Our alternative budget in 2019/20 proposed to delivery the things that residents put us as Conservative councillors in Town Hall for:
To pay for this, we identified millions in budget savings by sharing back-office functions with neighbouring councils. Camden had recognised that this is viable and beneficial by trying to merge digital services with Labour-run Haringey and Islington, but this collapsed in 2019: costing Camden millions. However, Camden sits next door to the country's most successful shared-services arrangement: the "Bi-Borough" arrangement between Westminster and Kensington & Chelsea. Officers estimated this would save £2.3m every year: enough to pay for all of the above, cut Council Tax by 1%, and still make a surplus.
Read it here.
2020/21 Alternative Budget
Safer streets, cleaner air, and a brighter future for Camden
In 2020, we built on our 2018 manifesto and 2019 budget with proposals to fund front-line services to improve Camden now and in the future:
As well as the potential to save £2.4m by sharing back-office services, which we identified in our 2019/20 budget, we noticed that Camden has 2,191 parking spaces on its estates that are never used, i.e. more parking spaces than there are residents with cars. We proposed letting out two-thirds of these otherwise unused spaces: raising £1.5m for the General Fund and £500,000 to reinvest in Housing. Together with other savings, like letting out Camden's unused office space in its plush HQ, this is enough to pay for the dramatically improved services above and cut Council Tax.
Read it here.
2021/22 Alternative Budget
Helping Camden bounce back
In 2021, we identified a number of ways that Camden could bounce back from Covid, while still funding the essential improvements that residents expected and we proposed in previous years' budgets:
As well as the savings identified in our previous budgets, we have proposed implementing a Lane Rental Scheme, by which the council charges roadwork contractors for each day they dig up the road: encouraging them to coordinate works. We would also have ended the precautionary pollarding of trees, and stop councillors' allowances being increased as Labour and Lib Dems proposed.
Read it here.
2022/23 Alternative Budget
Making Camden Listen
In 2022, we identified a number of ways that give residents a voice, deliver better services, and cut their Council Tax:
As well as the savings identified in our previous budgets, we have proposed raising money by licensing a floating car club (as in Wandsworth), prioritising parking enforcement on streets that are sensitive to traffic (as in Westminster), and charging for areas of planning advice that Camden currently gives applicants for free (as in Westminster).
Read it here.