Spending plan approved

Coins

Our councillors agreed a four year spending plan, which includes an increase in Council Tax for 2016/17 of 3.95%.

The increase is made up of 1.95% for services, and 2% suggested by Government for social care.

Introducing the budget proposal, Cllr Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for resources, said it would be impossible to make the savings needed without an impact on front line services.

He added:

Members of the public will begin to see changes in the next few years. Some of our changes will be delivering differently through innovation, but we can only do so much without affecting services. In the next year we will have reduce what we offer as a museums service, review children’s centres, town halls, look to dispose of more underused buildings, sell off more land the list goes on and on.

We believe in public services and will do all we can to protect those in need and the most vulnerable, those with long term medical problems, those in poverty and those at risk.”

Funding from government has been slightly worse than predicted, with the additional shortfall being bridged by use of reserves.

So far we have made savings of more than £106 million, and a further £29 million savings are planned over the next few years – but we still face a budget gap of £38 million in 2019/20.

Each of the political groups submitted amendments to Labour’s budget but these were voted down, before Labour’s proposal was agreed by 33 votes to 28.

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