Lib Dems win key budget changes to protect environment and create jobs

Lewes District Council’s budget, passed on Monday night, included a number of amendments put forward by Opposition Liberal Democrat group leader Sarah Osborne to safeguard jobs and the environment. 

The Lib Dem amendments include: spending £10,000 on a citizens science project to measure air quality around the district; spending £10,000 on projects to improve and preserve local biodiversity; and spending £28,000 to replace litter bins with dual litter and recycling bins to make it easier for residents to recycle “on the go”.

Cllr Osborne’s amendments also included the appointment of a trade and investment account manager. They would be responsible for attracting investment and supporting businesses within the district.

Cllr Osborne said: “Never before have local authorities needed to do more to attract new businesses to their areas.

“We know we will soon be partially reliant on business rates for much of our income and of course we face the challenge of a possible Brexit.

“Thus we need to resource and have a focused approach to boost the start-up and growth of businesses in the Lewes area.”

A final amendment sets out plans to use empty council-owned assets as ‘pop-up business spaces’ in Lewes and Newhaven, in an effort to provide office space for small scale businesses and start-ups.

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