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So everyone will of course be talking about the negatives.
Let me tell you some of the many positives that we managed to get out of budget night, besides trying to put the Council’s budget back on track.
Here are some of the things that the budget included.
£250,000 to top up the insurance fund, money from which was used to balance council budgets, leaving the ammount in the pot dangerously low.
£50,000 a year for 5 years to top back up the restricted reserves that were raided last year, such as the Church Langley reserve.
Control of Ragwort, a nasty little plant which is such a danger to animals if allowed to spread on our common land. The council has never before had a budget for dealing with this.
Money for cleaning the skatepark at the weekends, which you have to think will be when it is most used and most in need of a clean.
A new Energy officer, to try and reduce not only the council’s energy bills but that of our housing stock – and to reduce our carbon footprint in accordance with the Nottingham Declaration. Importantly the sort of officer whose job saves the council and the tax payers money.
A new Sponsorship officer, to bring in sponsorship for events such as the Town Show and the Fireworks Extravaganza. Another officer who should reduce the burden on the taxpayer, by initially paying for themselves and hopefully generating income for the council.
A new budget each year for running repairs to Childrens Playgrounds, instead of waiting for a capital bid to replace whole pieces of equipement.
£17,500 a year to be spent on sorting out paving stones to make pavements safer.
And here are some things the budget didn’t include that you might not hear about:
There were no increases for councillors, whose allowances were forzen. Labour and Liberal members voted AGAINST this on Budget night.
£50,000 came out of the communications budget. Labour and Liberal members voted AGAINST this on Budget night.
£28,000 was saved by a basic review of software licences, and £22,000 was saved by having fewer telephone lines and cheaper call charges. Labour and Liberal members voted AGAINST this on Budget night.
Overall there are a number of good things that were in this difficult budget and residents are able to see that the promises we made at election time are being kept.