Call for budget cut decisions to be revisited

Now the Isle of Wight council has approval to use cash from the Asda deal to fund revenue (ie. ongoing services) Cllr Lumley is asking for previous budget cut decisions to be reviewed.

Stop the Cuts Lollypop:

Newport East’s Labour councillor, Geoff Lumley shares this latest news. Ed


After Monday’s Employment Committee was very surprisingly told by the Chief Executive that the £17.5 million Asda capital receipt could be used on revenue expenditure, its Chair, Cllr Geoff Lumley is calling for a review of some of the more unpalatable cuts agreed by Budget Council back in February.

Councillors throughout the years have been told that capital receipts must be spent on capital projects and a cross-party group of councillors lead by Cllr Lumley last autumn recommended projects that would save the IW Council revenue expenditure in the longer-term*.

Using capital receipts for revenue
However, the Chief Executive’s report – based on the advice of the new Chief Finance Officer from Portsmouth City Council – proposed the use of the capital receipt for revenue items.

This being for new two-year posts developing Regeneration (£2m), to delay introducing a new ‘operating model’ budget saving for two years (£6m), and the £9.5m balance to be used to ‘smooth out’ the Government-imposed cuts of £21m over the next three years.

Review previous cuts
Lead Labour Councillor, Geoff Lumley proposed at Scrutiny Committee last night (Tuesday) a motion that recommended,

“The Executive bring a Report to September Full Council reviewing some of the agreed Budget cuts, in the light of recent advice regarding the Asda capital receipt.

“For example – the cuts to the concessionary fares extension for disabled people, to school crossing patrols, to the Recall Club, and to the way services are delivered at Westminster House.”

The Motion was approved by Committee members of all parties/groups.

Review now, not next year
Cllr Lumley later said,

“Budget Council agreed cuts last February that the Labour Group certainly would never have voted for if we had had the advice we are now getting. I am seeking a review of some of those cuts now (amounting to £460,000 in a full year), rather than leaving it until next February.

“There was some disappointing resistance from the administration at Scrutiny Committee, but I am hopeful that the Executive will remember why they were elected.”

* NB. The paper to Employment Committee suggests that these projects will be progressed through the efforts of the new Regeneration team.

Image: Ajehals under CC BY 2.0

Wednesday, 13th July, 2016 7:38am

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ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2enl

Filed under: Government, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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23 Comments on "Call for budget cut decisions to be revisited"

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Colin
So why the change? I have made various suggestions as to what the Asda money could be used for but have been constantly knocked back with the capital only arguement. Now apparently this isn’t so? This is a huge change is the “rules” and needs qualifying. I don’t believe that the Asda money should be used to prop up the governments funding cuts and would be far… Read more »
Geoff Lumley

It was a councillor panel chaired by me, not the CE, that made those recommendations, and no, apparently they would not be lost. The funding would be secured through the new Regeneration posts………..

Colin

We have been constantly told that that the capital receipt can only be used on capital projects.

What has changed?

phil jordan
colin: Some explanations below but, I am informed, some legislative changes took place in 2015. Having just learned of this ‘scheme’ I am unable to offer further insight into how this appears now to be possible where once, we were informed, it was not. Having said that, the money we are talking about is NOT capital…it is revenue held on a revenue account against a MRP (minimum… Read more »
Geoff Lumley

I could explain, but feel it is the duty of the administration to do so. This is a major change in what I have been advised over the last 11 years. The reasoning is entirely plausible. Over to Cllrs Bacon, Stubbings and Jordan – all assiduous readers of this site……

Matt

Eric Pickles was saying this?

Jonathan Bacon
I’m afraid I don’t get the time to read and comment on here as much as I would like! As far as the suggestion of a chance to reconsider matters is concerned this is on the timetable already when we have the mid-term budget Review in September. I have discussed this with Geoff. As far as development in approach to ASDA monies the situation is that each… Read more »
Pot of gold

This doesn’t make sense to me. You can only spend the money once. Not investing it in capital from which future benefits can be derived is irresponsible.

phil jordan
pot of gold: You need to read carefully what Jonathan has posted. The money ‘set aside’ each year as provision to pay the MRP (minimum revenue provision) is accounted for in the REVENUE budget…..not Capital. What the approach appears to allow is that revenue (or part thereof) can be taken and used as revenue and replaced by capital receipts which would then act as the MRP in… Read more »
Matt

Portsmouth and Gosport Councils are planning to share their officers saving half a milion pound CEO etc? Why not our IW Council? Cllr Bacon,Cllr Jordan.

phil jordan

Matt:

Our S151 officer is shared with Portsmouth…

Our Chief Fire Officer is ‘shared’ with Hampshire.

We have a Hampshire ‘shared’ Director of Children’s Services…

…by the way, “sharing” in the sense you speak of actually means going from Full Time to part time officer time….!

Matt

Well, Cllr Jordan don’t stop there then, carry on, half a million pound savings sharing CEO etc.

Matt

Portsmouth City Council, a joint post Director of Adult Social Services with Portsmouth CCG? Check it out, Cllr Jordan.

Matt

Correction:Director of Adult Services.

phil jordan

Matt:

…that’s the point, having already done this… there is nothing like “half a million” left to save.

Sharing the CE role (even if that were sensible and pragmatic at this very moment in time) would not save £50,000.

phil jordan
Matt: Portsmouth has a complex arrangement where the Council employ the CCG ‘Director’, they have an assistant DASS (Council employed)and a varying degree of management under that. However, the key to their arrangement is that they have achieved Integration already between Health & Social Care. We are still working on that difficult job. Recent developments within NHS and CCG on the Island have made that task more… Read more »
Pot of gold

Phil, I posted several hours before Jonathan btw.

It all sounds a bit fishy to me.

phil jordan

pot of gold:

ah…apologies….. I should have noted that.

Colin
Thanks to all for the contributions. It all sounds like smoke and mirrors to me… I’m disappointed that it would appear that the Adsa receipt is just going to prop up the shortfall in finances caused by the government cuts albeit in a roundabout way. As a one-off receipt there was a chance to make a difference somewhere. I do hope Mrs May will give a little… Read more »
shadow

this could be classed as mis management of public money we have had cuts after cuts now there nothing left to cut so this council is a shambles

Geoff Lumley

IF it is a shambles, which I dispute, then its only because of Government enforced cuts. No one in the administration, Labour group or the only honest LibDem want to make most of the cuts that have been forced on us by this (newly?) dreadful government.

phil jordan
shadow: The financial predicament this Council faces is entirely due to Governments cuts to the Revenue Support Grant since 2010. Those cuts have seen around £76m removed from our budget receipts (by 2017)and over 600 staff being lost….all within 7 years. This Council and this administration did not precipitate the financial position by “mis management” …it has managed the situation in an exemplary way and continues to… Read more »
shadow

there are several local councils in the south east that do npt rely on government funding and are self sufficient what gone wrong on the island