Last September, Councillor Peter Abraham successfully secured cross-Party backing for a motion which called on the Mayor to make a modest donation from his capital budget towards this important cultural project.
At that time, only a handful of Green Councillors voted against this resolution.
Funding for this purpose was then specifically included in the Mayor’s draft capital budget which went out to public consultation between 23rd November and 6th January 2016.
Now, Cllr Charlie Bolton wants to raid this reserved cash and use it instead to pay for road safety improvements on children’s routes to school. The Council will meet next week (Tuesday, 16th February) to provisionally set this year’s revenue & capital budgets.
Cllr Abraham (Con, Stoke Bishop) said: “I am very disappointed by this rather crude attempt to sabotage the realisation of the Concorde exhibition, tourist and learning facility.
“This is straightforward political grandstanding on their part. The alternative spending suggestion is daring Members to vote against something many recognise has obvious merit in its own right.
“It is a bit like asking whether we approve of motherhood and apple pie.
“Not only is this a simplistic understanding of budget-setting, it is positively mischievous. There are always competing demands on scarce resources and so cost-benefit calculations and compromises have to be made.
“Choices necessarily involve a difficult balancing act between differing priorities and objectives.
“Bizarrely, the Greens seem determined to ignore the fact that the ‘Bristol Aerospace Centre’ actually represents an investment in our city’s industrial and cultural past which has the potential to generate future income for our region.”
Conservative Mayoral Candidate Councillor Charles Lucas added: “Once again, we see the Greens' typically negative approach to major infrastructure investment which could economically and culturally improve our city.
“Road safety on school routes is important but, in my view, this is a measure which is akin to robbing Peter to pay Paul. If they really wanted want to secure more funding for this purpose, they would perhaps have been better served arguing for it when it came to consider funding some of the more dubious ‘artistic’ aspects of the Green Capital programme.
“I hope a majority of Councillors will see through this ploy and reject the amendment at next week’s budget-fixing meeting.”