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City council looks at ways to cut costs
CONTRIBUTING less to commemorate the start of the First World War and deferring spending on public toilets and parks and open spaces are some of the ways Salisbury City councillors hope to save in the next financial year.
Priorities for spending in 2014-15 were discussed by the council’s services committee at a meeting on Monday.
Their suggestions will be passed to the policy and resources committee and full council, where final decisions will be made. Cllr Ian Tomes suggested cancelling Salisbury Carnival, the summer event at Hudson’s Field and the council’s contribution to the annual Big Business Event to cut costs. But only two councillors were in agreement.
Cllr Michael Pope said: “The summer event gives a lot of pleasure to a lot of people and there’s nothing much to be happy about these days. This is the sort of thing that people appreciate and have a good time at.”
Councillors did vote to defer the renewal of Guildhall’s telephone system for a year as well as spending on new chairs for the function room and on restoring artefacts.
The committee also voted to defer spending on public toilets in the city for a year “without immediate detriment to public services”, and to defer additional spending, aside from that already earmarked, on parks and open spaces.
Cllr Matthew Dean said: “Where there are existing assets it is important to maintain them to a high standard.”
They also voted to include the cost of a new solar panel for the Guildhall in a loan already taken out for roof repairs. And councillors agreed less than £8,000 should be spent on commemorating the beginning of the First World War, and that they will work with the Royal British Legion.
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