The Council recently presented a Council Programme, a practical translation of the Coalition Agreement. It consists of a list of measures, some of which entail significant additional costs. On November 24, the city council had to decide whether the budget for this program should be released.
Is the council sleepwalking through the climate crisis, the energy shortage and the housing problem, or is it sufficiently alert to tackle the problems that lie ahead? GroenLinks assesses the university education on five points.
There are a number of good intentions in this area.
- There will be an agenda for the implementation of sustainability before 1 January.
- More information will be provided to residents and businesses about sustainability grants.
- There will be an energy platform to gather all ideas.
For 2023, the additional expenses are budgeted at €260,000. These expenses definitely get our support. Nevertheless, the case requires some tightening, especially when it comes to the consequences for the individual citizen with a tight budget. And above all, we want the board to show courage and dare to think big. This is not a time to get bogged down in awareness and education. Making sustainability truly affordable for everyone. Help entrepreneurs and citizens to save a lot of energy.
The college’s program is very guarded in this area. It says: “A decision can be made as to which promising locations from the overview list a project for development will be initiated within the available capacity and after Lange Weeren.” It seems appropriate that it says here: “We will look into the list of infill locations only after we are done with Lange Weeren.” It’s a completely wrong priority. We really expect a different approach from this college.
There will be a “Strategic Housing Advisor” budgeted at k€ 80. The question is what that person will do. As far as GrønLinks is concerned, it’s clear: When the wind blows, make a plan for the infill sites, starting with the TASE site! And finally, let’s set the housing implementation agenda that we’ve already been promised by the end of 2021. Fighting the housing crisis goes so much further than just building, building, building.
We were pleased to see a section on inclusiveness in the budget, under the heading “Everyone feels at home in our society”: “It is sometimes difficult for minority groups to find a place in our society. This can and must be done differently. We include the theme of inclusivity in the programs at the schools, in the premises, in sports and culture and in the implementation with our partners.”
It seems to be a phrase from the GroenLinks program that I applaud. We also see that the political indicators in the social domain are generally good. One can conclude that the college is doing well. But we immediately attach a warning to that: Do not become too attached to the values of what was once fondly called the participation society. We believe that the ideology behind this, with its emphasis on market forces and self-reliance, is outdated. Principles such as individual strength, teamwork and the heavy reliance on informal carers and volunteers are no alternatives to the government’s tasks. We will continue to critically monitor the implementation of the integrated policy framework. Everyone deserves good care. It should never be compromised.
Nature and environment
The municipal waste policy has become a joke. By reducing the amount of residual waste, we have kept to 212 kg per This is well above the national average of 170 and far from our own target of 100 kg per inhabitant. GroenLinks will actually have 50 kg. There are a few good things in it and the lecture programme, such as the establishment of an agricultural platform. As far as GroenLinks is concerned, farmers should have space. Space is needed to transform into a nature-inclusive agriculture. So don’t buy out farmers and fill up the meadows with building blocks. As far as biodiversity is concerned, we see that it is still too little in the municipality’s DNA. There are a few nice projects, but that’s about it. Let’s change course in 2023. You will be surprised how beautiful our residential areas can become if nature is given space.
Art and culture
Our municipality teems with art and culture, but the board has a one-sided view of it. Culture is discussed in relation to tourism. There is also nothing about culture on the university education, which gives the impression that the municipality simply does not care. We do not believe that this is a good signal for the sector. Especially not because a small increase in resources can achieve a lot. This will be discussed in detail during the discussion of the implementation agenda on 24 November.
All in all, GroenLinks is not completely dissatisfied with the college education, although it contains a number of things that are indigestible to us, such as the persistence of the plans for an industrial area in Purmer. GroenLinks will continue to oppose it.
This is a summary of the text issued as a general consideration at the Budget Council.