The District Council’s budget was passed with the support of the Conservatives AND the Lib Dems AND Labour. It’s the first time this has happened for about 12 years.
So why did the Lib Dems support a “Tory” budget? Well, this year the council is so hemmed in by central government bureaucracy that there weren’t many alterations we wanted to make. We asked plenty of questions beforehand and were satisfied with most of the answers. However there are two particular issues we are still disappointed about.
One is that the council has allocated ?300,000 for a “stock option appraisal”. This is some sort of independent review to decide what to do with our council house stock . We are required to do it by central government. Chris asked for a rough breakdown of how this ?300,000 would be spent , but the council can’t provide any more information – this ?300,000 is simply based on what other councils have spent.
The second is that once again the council hasn’t found the money – ?25,000 – for an out-of-hours environmental health service. This would pay for a council officer to come out in the evenings and weekends to respond to noise and odour complaints. Maybe we can persuade the council to change it’s mind later on in the year.
A a result of the budget, the district council will be charging 9 percent more poll tax this year. However, allowing for the poll tax charged by the County Council, Fire Service and Police, the overall increase for residents will be about 6 percent.
One final thought… you might be thinking “If the government hems in the council so much that the three parties vote for the same budget, what’s the point of voting in the local elections?” – well, believe us, it’s still worthwhile, there are still enough other important issues…