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.