This in from Cllr Geoff Lumley, Labour councillor for Newport East. Ed
The Labour Group at County Hall has proposed an amendment to this Wednesday’s Full Council recommendation on the draft Budget. It seeks to get the Council leadership to work up more imaginative uses of the anticipated £20 million ASDA receipt that could mitigate the effects of some of the proposed savings.
The amendment reads,
“Add at end of Paragraph 75:
However, we also agree to option b) that specific further areas should be worked up for consideration next month that seek to mitigate the effects of some of the savings options detailed in Appendix H (even if only for a couple of years) by the imaginative use of the anticipated £20m capital receipt from Asda.
In particular, the savings options:
- Community bus services;
- Subsidised bus services;
- The local discretionary addition to the concessionary fares scheme;
- School crossing patrols;
- Pedestrian charges on Cowes Floating Bridge;
- Supporting People budget reductions;
- Personal Budget payments;
- Energy efficiency management.
Proposed: Cllr Geoff Lumley “
Labour Councillor for Newport East, Geoff Lumley said,
“The likely £20m windfall from Asda surely needs to be used far more imaginatively in seeking to mitigate some of the more contentious cuts being proposed by this administration, than sticking in it in some bank to earn 1% interest – just £200,000 next year. The areas we have identified as being particularly contentious add up to costs next year of £940,000 and £2 million in 2016-17. Given the Asda windfall of £20m and the cuts of £23m to be made over the next 2 years, we consider this to be a no-brainer.”
His colleague Labour Councillor for Lake North, Alan Hollands said,
“We appreciate there are rules about the use of capital receipts for ongoing budget commitments. However, other local authorities manage to do things like this by imaginative measures and our Council leadership should too. We will go into this further at Full Council.”
(NB. The amendment seeks to provide political direction between Wednesday’s Full Council and planned publication of the leadership’s final Budget proposals on 30 January. The final Budget itself will need to be agreed by Full Council on 25 February.)