The cat is out of the bag

Today is the day when we (Cornwall Council) learn the details of the cuts we could be facing. This could be around the 30% mark. This could come in two waves of reduction in funding.
The first one is the Formula Grant from central Government. It’s expected to be 30% with at least 10% of those cuts coming in the first year. The remaining spread evenly over 3 years. The second is the Area Base Grant. This is likely to be 30% too, but this will be cut in the first year. On top of that, the Government is likely to cap Council Tax at 2.5%. 
So if the 30% is true, then we are going to face some real changes. £10 million is ear marked to go in the first year. Yesterday Cornwall Councillors were given details of possible cuts and other areas that were looked at. These papers were marked ‘confidential’ and were for Councillors eyes only. That’s until Monday 25th October when the report is published for Cabinet and therefore a public document.
For what ever reasons these details are now in the public domain and if you click here you will be able to read some of the proposed cuts (Click Here for Graham Smith’s Blog). I personally can’t publish the details due to the rules, but there are areas being cut that I think are wrong.
I can say what I do think is wrong, and will remain that way till I am explained fully as to why it was included in the cuts. For me it’s cutting the bus subsidy for evening and Sunday services, and the cutting of Post-16 student travel subsidy. It makes it harder to understand when we are keeping things like attending Royal Cornwall Show (cost around £50k). I feel let’s get our priorities right.
No matter what is cut, it’s going to be painful, but at least cut only those services that are really surplus and not shy away from those areas are politically sensitive.
Take for instance that we are borrowing £14 million to fund a Solar Park, but by the maths produced in the Cabinet report (as I post previously) will only have a return of £10 million over 25 years.  
Sometimes the logic for me is as clear as mud

3 comments

  • Anonymous

    Cornwall Council is the council of show, publicity and the grand gesture – not what is good for the public. Royal Cornwall Show, Solar Park etc demonstrate this – its about CV building by senior officers who will only be around for a year or two more.

  • jeremy

    Yes, it does seem like the priorities have been slightly skewed here doesn't it.

  • Anonymous

    Since the solar park project was founded on the solar parks that they use in Navarre in Spain, where they have a continental climate of 300 days of sunshine, where we have a maratime climate and 150 days of sunshine. I would argue that the technology has not been tested in our specific climate. Its an easy thing to do, set up 10 pannels outside county hall. Observe them for a year. Multiply the output and efficiency by what ever factor the proposed Solar park will be and you will have a better answer.
    Its madness to go to a bank with no figures as to wether this will work, and also to set your buisness model on this park being economic because the Goverment (or us the tax payers) will give you 4 times over the going rate for your product.
    This is bonanza of 30 to 40 acre developments of technology that has been proved to be uneconomic needs to be stopped as it will blight our landscape with "white elephants" and will only prove to be a legacy of stupidity for the future generations.
    Green energy does not need to be intrusive or uneconomic and to carry on with this will do more damage to future projects as this is a joke.

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