My Amendment is Defeated – Just

You will more than likely be in for a treat of two blogs today on the budget meeting at Cornwall Council. The first one will be on my amendment to reduce the Leader Contingency Budget in the 2012/13 period from £600,000 to £250,000. Currently it is set at £1 million. 
My amendment would transfer £175,000 to the transportation (buses) budget and the same amount to public toilet funds. I believe these two areas are under huge budgetary pressures. You only got to look at the recent outrage when 114 toilets were earmarked to lose their funding. Bus routes are also under threat with the reduction to the amount paid by the council to the bus companies to help pay for concessionary fares. (reduction from 75% of the cost to 50%). The overall budget bus budget is likely to be reduced from £3.9m to £3.1m. This will have an affect on bus routes.
I blogged about some of the areas this money has been used HERE, but is it right this budget funds the Tall Ships race £100,000? Or the Local Enterprise Partnership Board (LEP) to the tune of £40,000 for travel expenses, subsistence and the Chairmans honorarium? Surely the latter should be funded out of the LEP’s own money and the former out of the economic development pot. 
Other areas funded are establishing a Cornish Focus Paper (Census) to the tune of £20,000, or the Olympic Torch for £80,000. It is not that I am against some of this funding or the other areas already funded (but I have not yet listed), but the budget could be used better. Hence my amendment. 
As for the vote, my amendment was narrowly defeated by 51 against, 47 for. It was interesting to note that the entire Conservative party present voted against this proposal. I shall be reminding them when they complain about cuts to these services for lack of money, when they had the chance to put in more money into these two areas. 
Still only losing by 4 votes shows many believed in what I was trying to do. 

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