AS the biggest population centre in south Wiltshire and with arguably the biggest tourist attraction in the county, combined with continuing efforts to increase the visitor numbers to the city through public transport, we believe it is important for the city to have an easy to find, easy to access, central bus station.

As such we have voted to spend £10,000 on an investigation as to whether there is a business case for keeping it.

The cost will only be £10,000 and will not escalate to a scaremongering "more like £30,000” as Cllr Tom Corbin has suggested, because we will cap it.

Once the findings are reported, councillors will then consider what the next step, if any, will be.

Regarding the precept increase, as councillors, we have a legal responsibility to set a sensible and achievable budget.

We had to factor in several cost pressures over and above those still upon us from the previous year and a number of things we would like to have done were shelved.

We did a lot of work on the current budget figures, both independently and in conjunction with city council officers, and took on board the comments and considerations of the Green and Independent councillors to make sure that on the day our figures would stand up to scrutiny.

This was the budget approved at a full council meeting last Monday evening.

It should be noted that the potential for a zero precept rise, or even a cut, is entirely realistic through service and/or staff reductions and had this been proposed and shown to be achievable, then it too would have had to have been considered and put to the vote. Who knows, such a budget may even have been carried.

Cllr Sven Hocking, Salisbury City Council