£1m Wyre Forest budget cuts given the go-ahead

Kidderminster Shuttle: £1m Wyre Forest budget cuts given the go-ahead £1m Wyre Forest budget cuts given the go-ahead

PROPOSALS to cut Wyre Forest District Council’s budget by nearly £1 million next year have been approved.

Money-saving plans were given the go-ahead at a full council meeting on Wednesday last week, three months earlier than previous budget-setting cycles.

Proposals were approved by 25 votes, from Conservative and Liberal and Independent group councillors, to 15, from Independent Community and Health Concern (ICHC) and Labour politicians, following a fierce debate.

Work will now turn towards implementing policies which include stripping disabled blue badge holders of concessions at council-owned car parks, and renting empty rooms at the council headquarters, Wyre Forest House.

There will also be increased charges for car parking, cemetery and sports pitches.

Other cost-cutting plans have become council policy, though, controversially, business cases and full details of some plans still need to be put together.

The authority’s overview and scrutiny committee will consider plans to offload benefit and revenue and Hub services to private company Civica, which could save about £200,000.

Councillors and officers will look to slash council contributions to Worcestershire Regulatory Services and make better commercial use of Kidderminster Town Hall.

There was plenty of political toing and froing as ICHC tabled an ultimately unsuccessful alternative budget which included proposals to postpone the budget vote until the February full council meeting.

It also attacked the administration’s plan for a new £10 million leisure centre.

ICHC leader, councillor Graham Ballinger, said policies had not been properly evaluated and councillors, including members of the strategic review committee, set up to oversee develop- ment of the proposals, had not had enough time to consider them.

Council leader, Conservative John Campion, said the committee had met 26 times, giving opposition members plenty of time to be involved in the process.

The alternative budget received Labour party support but was defeated by 25 votes to 15.

The administration’s approved budget plans also include raising Wyre Forest’s council tax precept by 1.94 per cent, adding £3.83 to the average bill.

The package will bring council spending next year down £800,000, to £11.5 million

Comments (8)

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10:10am Thu 5 Dec 13

Poppasmurf says...

It's time the Government introduced legislation to require a referendum for ANY increase in the despised Council Tax, not a two percent trigger as at the moment.
It's time the Government introduced legislation to require a referendum for ANY increase in the despised Council Tax, not a two percent trigger as at the moment. Poppasmurf

1:03pm Thu 5 Dec 13

Stephen Brown says...

Just remember who voted what next time you vote in May 2014 as the Tories carried the usual Tory supporting cronies in their wake.
Just remember who voted what next time you vote in May 2014 as the Tories carried the usual Tory supporting cronies in their wake. Stephen Brown

4:59pm Sat 7 Dec 13

John Herbert Smith says...

Cuts have to happen- we are in debt as a country. We cannot keep spending other people's money. We need to pay it back, just like a credit card.

We now at last have modest sustainable growth.
Yes, borrowing more and spending other people's money in the last 3 years would have let us grow more - but it would have fuelled the debt bubble and simply pushed back the inevitable.

This government's polices avoided a double dip recession and has cut the deficit.
Cuts have to happen- we are in debt as a country. We cannot keep spending other people's money. We need to pay it back, just like a credit card. We now at last have modest sustainable growth. Yes, borrowing more and spending other people's money in the last 3 years would have let us grow more - but it would have fuelled the debt bubble and simply pushed back the inevitable. This government's polices avoided a double dip recession and has cut the deficit. John Herbert Smith

6:12pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Gobby Robby says...

This govts policies brought the economy to the verge of triple dip recession to say that it avoided it because of them is probably the most Orwellian statement I've ever read!
Including the last quarter, the UK economy has grown by just 2.1% during the 12 quarters since the current government came to power. This compares with the 2% growth that the economy had managed in just four quarters between the third quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010. Austerity is to blame for this collapse, if you cut off an engine of growth so drastically before growth has been established it is inevitable that the economy will crash.
Growth now is clearly not sustainable as it is based on debt and a housing bubble created by the government. Not to mention Osborne adopting plan B by drastically slowing the rate of cuts, which incidentally was Alastair Darling's original policy.
This govts policies brought the economy to the verge of triple dip recession to say that it avoided it because of them is probably the most Orwellian statement I've ever read! Including the last quarter, the UK economy has grown by just 2.1% during the 12 quarters since the current government came to power. This compares with the 2% growth that the economy had managed in just four quarters between the third quarter of 2009 and the second quarter of 2010. Austerity is to blame for this collapse, if you cut off an engine of growth so drastically before growth has been established it is inevitable that the economy will crash. Growth now is clearly not sustainable as it is based on debt and a housing bubble created by the government. Not to mention Osborne adopting plan B by drastically slowing the rate of cuts, which incidentally was Alastair Darling's original policy. Gobby Robby

6:42pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Gobby Robby says...

"We cannot keep spending other people's money. We need to pay it back, just like a credit card" Comparing a country's public expenditure to a credit card or household expenditure is wrong as they are two completely different things.
For the record the Conservative government has now spent more money in 3 years than Labour in 13 so obviously you can keep spending other people's money. The projected deficit for 2014/15 is an amazing £65bn higher than planned in the summer of 2010.
The cuts are all about shrinking the size of the state in other words completely ideological. If we have 'maxed out' on the credit card than how can we spend £12 billion subsidising fossil fuels, £34 billion for subsidising the banks and £100 billion for replacing Trident? Sadly with members of the public only too happy to see themselves foot the bill through reduced services, higher VAT and extended working lives, I think the Conservative Party will get away with making the majority of the population take the strain while the top 10% get away largely untouched.
"We cannot keep spending other people's money. We need to pay it back, just like a credit card" Comparing a country's public expenditure to a credit card or household expenditure is wrong as they are two completely different things. For the record the Conservative government has now spent more money in 3 years than Labour in 13 so obviously you can keep spending other people's money. The projected deficit for 2014/15 is an amazing £65bn higher than planned in the summer of 2010. The cuts are all about shrinking the size of the state in other words completely ideological. If we have 'maxed out' on the credit card than how can we spend £12 billion subsidising fossil fuels, £34 billion for subsidising the banks and £100 billion for replacing Trident? Sadly with members of the public only too happy to see themselves foot the bill through reduced services, higher VAT and extended working lives, I think the Conservative Party will get away with making the majority of the population take the strain while the top 10% get away largely untouched. Gobby Robby

6:58pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Gobby Robby says...

"Yes, borrowing more and spending other people's money in the last 3 years would have let us grow more - but it would have fuelled the debt bubble and simply pushed back the inevitable".
Osborne has knocked 1 per cent off the growth of the British economy each year, that comes to £92bn, enough to restore Labour’s schoolbuilding plans and fill the funding gap in the NHS. For the average household, this amounts to a loss of £3,500 over three years.
"Yes, borrowing more and spending other people's money in the last 3 years would have let us grow more - but it would have fuelled the debt bubble and simply pushed back the inevitable". Osborne has knocked 1 per cent off the growth of the British economy each year, that comes to £92bn, enough to restore Labour’s schoolbuilding plans and fill the funding gap in the NHS. For the average household, this amounts to a loss of £3,500 over three years. Gobby Robby

7:11pm Sat 7 Dec 13

Gobby Robby says...

Finally I note John unnecessarily and repeatedly uses the phrase 'other people's money'. There's obviously a Conservative thing going on here where money spent on the community and the country is seen as someone else wasting their (the Conservative's) money. When unintelligent short term Conservative desperation to slash services knocks £92 billion off 'the credit card' it's never referred to as £92 billion of 'other people's money'.
Finally I note John unnecessarily and repeatedly uses the phrase 'other people's money'. There's obviously a Conservative thing going on here where money spent on the community and the country is seen as someone else wasting their (the Conservative's) money. When unintelligent short term Conservative desperation to slash services knocks £92 billion off 'the credit card' it's never referred to as £92 billion of 'other people's money'. Gobby Robby

9:54pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Green Olive says...

The district councils new HQ has been open just over a year, so why are there already spare rooms available for rent? Was the building too big from the moment it was opened? In which case who is responsible for this?
The district councils new HQ has been open just over a year, so why are there already spare rooms available for rent? Was the building too big from the moment it was opened? In which case who is responsible for this? Green Olive

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