Third verse, same as the first…

…a little bit louder, and a whole lot worse.

This line from a popular camp song is a good summary of the London Budget 2013.  Because we’ve been down this road before, twice before, and again we find ourselves facing the reality of a campaign promise of 0% tax increases for four years.  So, the goal is the same, but the proposed results get worse each year.  Here’s just some of what we’re planning on cutting this year, and what staff have highlighted as the implications.  Want to see the full list?  Then check out this handy page.

1) Reduction in accessibility compliance 

“in order to ensure compliance, the City will incur all implementation and maintenance costs. Without sufficient AODA funds, the costs of compliance will fall to individual service areas. There is concern that meeting these standards may cause detrimental impacts to service levels.”

2) Cutting in half funding for new affordable housing

“Opportunities such as aligning funding and increasing supports to people once housed to reduce shelter beds and shelter usage, and focus on permanent solutions to homelessness in London under London CAReS, Hostels to Homes (or similar initiative) will be compromised.”

3) Eliminate funding for green bin pilot program

“There is an environmental risk that the targets set by the Provincial government for waste diversion will not be met. This can have an impact on other parts of the waste management system that require approvals from the Provincial government.”

4) Further delay of Neighbourhood Hub community building strategy

“Losing time in the implementation of neighbourhood friendly strategies that enhance quality of life in the city, with potential impacts on attracting families to London’s neighbourhoods. We will be three years behind planned implementation in 2013.”

5) Decrease of staff doing road patching

6) Elimination of weekend sidewalk plowing

7) 10 year moratorium on new bike lanes

“Council has accepted the Transportation Master Plan including cycling infrastructure improvements to promote a more active community. Without the Bike Lane Program, the network will continue to be discontinuous and not encourage growth of the cycling community. With more bike lanes, we can progress towards a continuous system and encourage more people out of their automobiles and reduce congestion & pollution around the City.”

8) Reduction in social housing programs

Eliminates 10 year repainting of units, summer kids programs, off-duty police patrols, reduces grass cutting to bi-weekly, and decrease garbage pick-up.

9) Library – Elimination of Sunday service

10) London Transit – Reduction in service hours

“Service level reductions on both the conventional and specialized services will result in reduced ridership which will impact the future levels of Provincial Gas Tax allocations received. The extent of the ridership losses will be dependent on a number of factors including whether the cuts eliminate the possibility for a transit trip entirely, or they result in a service that is unreliable to the extent that other modes of transportation are sought out. The most significant impact of the service reductions will be experienced by those transit customers who have no alternative, and depend on public transit for their mobility and access to the community.”

One thought on “Third verse, same as the first…

  1. Pingback: So why Zero? | Abe Oudshoorn's Blog

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