It’s Budget Time

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The district council will be setting next year’s budget on January 27th. It looks like the district council tax will go up by about 9 percent., and about half that increase is due to new policies and new requirements of the government.

All good councillors should be spending hours beforehand scrutinising all the figures – we already have an 84 page report to look at. These are the sort of questions that we’ll be asking:

Why has the council spent ?50,000 preparing for inspectors to assess us in February?

Why is the council planning to spend ?90,000 on its main audit next year compared with ?62,000 this year?

Why are pension costs going up by 14 percent?

Why are the costs of elections going up by 60 percent?

What are the “deferred charges” on our leisure premises and why are they increasing from ?50,000 to ?90,000.

The officers will probably have good explanations for all of these questions (and many more) , but its part of a councillor’s duties to look into this sort of thing, especially when you’re in opposition.