Cornwall Council’s Budget Scrutiny Starts

The annual budget discussions continue on the 3rd and 4th November with the various scrutiny committees trying to make sense of the detail behind the headline figures that were presented, and voted through by the Cabinet.

There is a lot of disquiet by backbench Councillors because of the bombshells that have exploded in the last few months. Would anyone have voted on the budget last year if they knew £1.3 million would be cut from public toilets, or the shock of finding a £2.5 million black hole in concessionary fares?

Headline figures are all well and good, but it is the detail behind those figures that really count. Despite requests last year, these figures and actual details was like trying to get blood out of a stone. To be honest, I don’t think they knew what would be cut, and now the cold reality has hit home.

I feel the details will be demanded before anyone will be happy to vote on the budget in January. There is also another concern of a £6m grant from the Government that would allow a zero percent rise in Council Tax, but will mean there has to be a hefty rise for the 2013/14 period. This point has a lot of people worried.

For those who are interested all the meetings on the 3rd and 4th November will be webcast. This is the first time this has happened and I welcome this.

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