'Difficult decisions' on council budget

DIFFICULT decisions had to be taken when Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet planned slashing its 2014/15 budget by £25m, leader Jane Scott said on Tuesday.

The Cabinet approved the plans which will be voted on by councillors at next Tuesday’s full council meeting.

Among the proposals are the freezing of Wiltshire Council’s part of the council tax, subsidy reductions for less efficient bus services and withdrawal of 5p per mile support funding to the region’s Link bus services.

The council tax freeze means a Band D household would pay £1,222 for Wiltshire’s services from April. Cllr Scott said: “This has not been a very easy budget but there were two things we wanted to ensure.

"The first was that we protected frontline services as much as possible and the second was that we wanted to keep the council tax down as we know people are struggling.”

The budget will, if approved, invest £18m in improving other services. This includes an extra £10m in highways schemes, £1.3m in health provision and giving staff a one per cent pay rise.

The proposed budget is £333m, which is £7.5m less than last year. Central government funding to Wiltshire for the year has been reduced by £9.5m.

Comments (10)

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5:39pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Grampie says...

Cuts mean people who need the Council's services get a worse service.

Meanwhile Conservative councillors give themselves a pay rise.

They spin the lie that there will be no cuts in essential services, yet the potholes are still in Ashley Road and elsewhere.
Cuts mean people who need the Council's services get a worse service. Meanwhile Conservative councillors give themselves a pay rise. They spin the lie that there will be no cuts in essential services, yet the potholes are still in Ashley Road and elsewhere. Grampie
  • Score: 9

6:01pm Tue 11 Feb 14

karlmarx says...

"Central government funding to Wiltshire for the year has been reduced by £9.5m."

Well, if your central government collected all of the taxes owed from the 'wealth creators' then maybe they would have enough money for local government services.

Quote:
"The amount of tax lost through non-payment and avoidance increased last year (2013) to £35bn, according to official figures released on Friday."

This despite the fallacy of the government clamping down on evasion/avoidance!
"Central government funding to Wiltshire for the year has been reduced by £9.5m." Well, if your central government collected all of the taxes owed from the 'wealth creators' then maybe they would have enough money for local government services. Quote: "The amount of tax lost through non-payment and avoidance increased last year (2013) to £35bn, according to official figures released on Friday." This despite the fallacy of the government clamping down on evasion/avoidance! karlmarx
  • Score: 6

9:56am Wed 12 Feb 14

hillyanne says...

I've felt for years that we(c.tax payers)are getting less and paying more.When I ask anyone they say it's all costing more.But surely there are more people each year paying c tax ;rising population/incomers etc?
When we switched from Rates to C tax we were told it would let us keep "those in charge"up to the mark more easily;by demanding(requesting
?)things got done properly.
I do try.I often ring CLARENCE re potholes,poor drainage on footpaths,wonky street lights etc which mostly get done..."whenever".Bu
t the place still looks tired and unkempt;rubbish,old trees left to fall down(Avon Country Park);flooded subways for ages(Castle Rd and by Waitrose) e.g. .I find it rather depressing and feel helpless even tho' we're all shelling out at least £100 per month;which is a lot to find.
I've felt for years that we(c.tax payers)are getting less and paying more.When I ask anyone they say it's all costing more.But surely there are more people each year paying c tax ;rising population/incomers etc? When we switched from Rates to C tax we were told it would let us keep "those in charge"up to the mark more easily;by demanding(requesting ?)things got done properly. I do try.I often ring CLARENCE re potholes,poor drainage on footpaths,wonky street lights etc which mostly get done..."whenever".Bu t the place still looks tired and unkempt;rubbish,old trees left to fall down(Avon Country Park);flooded subways for ages(Castle Rd and by Waitrose) e.g. .I find it rather depressing and feel helpless even tho' we're all shelling out at least £100 per month;which is a lot to find. hillyanne
  • Score: 8

10:34am Wed 12 Feb 14

gingin says...

Anyone who has the audacity to disagree with the Tory led administration at the budget meeting (full council) will probably be jeered like the disgraceful carry on at the allowances meeting. They need to understand it's a democratic right to disagree. It's rude not to listen to other views and they will always find we don't all agree with what they propose. Not that it matters much as they block vote everything through!

If what was reported was a true record of behavior at the allowance meeting then Jane Scott and the Chairman should be ashamed. The Chairman should have stopped the barracking and also the personal attack on an Independent member.

They do not allow members of the public to behave out of order so why allow Councillors to do it?
Anyone who has the audacity to disagree with the Tory led administration at the budget meeting (full council) will probably be jeered like the disgraceful carry on at the allowances meeting. They need to understand it's a democratic right to disagree. It's rude not to listen to other views and they will always find we don't all agree with what they propose. Not that it matters much as they block vote everything through! If what was reported was a true record of behavior at the allowance meeting then Jane Scott and the Chairman should be ashamed. The Chairman should have stopped the barracking and also the personal attack on an Independent member. They do not allow members of the public to behave out of order so why allow Councillors to do it? gingin
  • Score: 5

4:34pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Friend of the People says...

A lot of this budget seems to be a sleight of hand - with the Coalition Government cutting grants to Wiltshire for such important matters as disabled children and Wiltshire saying it can't or won't make up the difference, so such important charities as Stepping Stones lose out.

Also the bus services are to lose millions in various ways. But I doubt if opposition councillors will have the sense to point this out. Even if they do the disgraceful boorish behaviour of the Conservative backbenchers will probably shut them up.

Also after the terrible performance of these baying and barracking Conservativbes at the last meeting, it is unlikely that many members of the public will turn up. This is, of course, what the Conservative ruling group want - without the glare of public perception they can continue to run things just as they want.
A lot of this budget seems to be a sleight of hand - with the Coalition Government cutting grants to Wiltshire for such important matters as disabled children and Wiltshire saying it can't or won't make up the difference, so such important charities as Stepping Stones lose out. Also the bus services are to lose millions in various ways. But I doubt if opposition councillors will have the sense to point this out. Even if they do the disgraceful boorish behaviour of the Conservative backbenchers will probably shut them up. Also after the terrible performance of these baying and barracking Conservativbes at the last meeting, it is unlikely that many members of the public will turn up. This is, of course, what the Conservative ruling group want - without the glare of public perception they can continue to run things just as they want. Friend of the People
  • Score: 8

9:20pm Wed 12 Feb 14

brasstacks says...

Yet another load of contradictions from Ms Scott and Co as they now appear to be telling us that they are going to "freeze council tax" despite letting Angus the Police Commissioner get his Conservative "puddies" on tax payers dosh to fund "his" Police Force ??.........

My Local Council say that they are "putting up council tax precepts" because Jane Scott & her "Cons-Cab" is cutting their Funding and...all in all, what an appalling Financial MESS ??.......
I wonder how much Jane Scott spent on her "image day" today at County Hall ??..
I listened to her on the radio earlier today and, with every respect, could not believe the drivel coming from her......
"Health & Well Being" is NOTHING to do with Jane Scott and...if the Conservatives had NOT flogged off the Administration of the NHS to the highest Private Bidders, we might still be able to get the Treatments that we all pay for......

Jane Scott is NOT organising all these "jolly awareness days" for "the fun of it".......wonder how much she got in Grants from Westminster for the "fun day in the Attrium" today
All of what she spends on "image" SHOULD be spent on the Residents of Wiltshire ...
Having read the Wilts Council Budget Report that was Published yesterday, I find it hard to imagine that Jane Scott and her Cabinet can have the nerve to then simply turn around and BREAK the promises/pledges that they have made ??.....

Surely this has to be a Breach of their Councillor Code of Conduct ??.....
Yet another load of contradictions from Ms Scott and Co as they now appear to be telling us that they are going to "freeze council tax" despite letting Angus the Police Commissioner get his Conservative "puddies" on tax payers dosh to fund "his" Police Force ??......... My Local Council say that they are "putting up council tax precepts" because Jane Scott & her "Cons-Cab" is cutting their Funding and...all in all, what an appalling Financial MESS ??....... I wonder how much Jane Scott spent on her "image day" today at County Hall ??.. I listened to her on the radio earlier today and, with every respect, could not believe the drivel coming from her...... "Health & Well Being" is NOTHING to do with Jane Scott and...if the Conservatives had NOT flogged off the Administration of the NHS to the highest Private Bidders, we might still be able to get the Treatments that we all pay for...... Jane Scott is NOT organising all these "jolly awareness days" for "the fun of it".......wonder how much she got in Grants from Westminster for the "fun day in the Attrium" today All of what she spends on "image" SHOULD be spent on the Residents of Wiltshire ... Having read the Wilts Council Budget Report that was Published yesterday, I find it hard to imagine that Jane Scott and her Cabinet can have the nerve to then simply turn around and BREAK the promises/pledges that they have made ??..... Surely this has to be a Breach of their Councillor Code of Conduct ??..... brasstacks
  • Score: 9

11:15pm Thu 13 Feb 14

FreeBornJohn says...

this is more cuts to our services, yet we pay more tax.
this is more cuts to our services, yet we pay more tax. FreeBornJohn
  • Score: 3

1:11pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Lady Tinky Winky says...

There is no difficult decisions on council budget. Just get rid of all the councillors and then we won't have to cut services as we will have plenty of money as we won't have to pay them and their expenses etc.
There is no difficult decisions on council budget. Just get rid of all the councillors and then we won't have to cut services as we will have plenty of money as we won't have to pay them and their expenses etc. Lady Tinky Winky
  • Score: 2

5:06pm Fri 14 Feb 14

gingin says...

Lady Tinky Winky wrote:
There is no difficult decisions on council budget. Just get rid of all the councillors and then we won't have to cut services as we will have plenty of money as we won't have to pay them and their expenses etc.
Radical suggestion there! If there were no Councillors there would nobody to stand up for the people of Wiltshire against Wiltshire Council just making decisions and implementing them all without any public consultation or disagreement. Agreed at the moment it does look like the Councillors are taking little or no notice of public opinion but when the next election comes round the public can change who they vote in to represent them.

When a member of the public wishes to receive help with housing or reporting pot holes etc who do they go to if they do not get what they want? Their Councillor is asked to take up the fight on the public's behalf.

The 1% increase in allowances for the ordinary Councillor is in line with what council employes received it is only the leader and her cabinet who received more. The senior directors of WC had a great pay rise as well so make them earn it. Personally I would rather be able to turn to a Councillor if I had a problem which would not go away rather than a top bod who couldn't care less and just spout policy at you.
[quote][p][bold]Lady Tinky Winky[/bold] wrote: There is no difficult decisions on council budget. Just get rid of all the councillors and then we won't have to cut services as we will have plenty of money as we won't have to pay them and their expenses etc.[/p][/quote]Radical suggestion there! If there were no Councillors there would nobody to stand up for the people of Wiltshire against Wiltshire Council just making decisions and implementing them all without any public consultation or disagreement. Agreed at the moment it does look like the Councillors are taking little or no notice of public opinion but when the next election comes round the public can change who they vote in to represent them. When a member of the public wishes to receive help with housing or reporting pot holes etc who do they go to if they do not get what they want? Their Councillor is asked to take up the fight on the public's behalf. The 1% increase in allowances for the ordinary Councillor is in line with what council employes received it is only the leader and her cabinet who received more. The senior directors of WC had a great pay rise as well so make them earn it. Personally I would rather be able to turn to a Councillor if I had a problem which would not go away rather than a top bod who couldn't care less and just spout policy at you. gingin
  • Score: 2

6:18pm Mon 17 Feb 14

Morello says...

I don't trust these jokers up at Trowbridge, they seem to blend public relations with incompetence which leaves me concerned.

At least the Westminster lot can be checked out by reading the reports in opposing press reviews.

How helpful it would be if only the Journal were to give us the explanations behind the Scott Spin.
I don't trust these jokers up at Trowbridge, they seem to blend public relations with incompetence which leaves me concerned. At least the Westminster lot can be checked out by reading the reports in opposing press reviews. How helpful it would be if only the Journal were to give us the explanations behind the Scott Spin. Morello
  • Score: 1

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