A few years ago in Harlow, we instigated a Star Chamber process at Budget time. The idea is to get some senior councillors in a room, at a dedicated time with budget holding officers and go through in detail what they are spending and how money can be saved, with ideas coming from both sides of the table.

We started the Star Chamber process for this year last night with Regeneration, our top priority, and then tonight were looking at the Community and Citizenship budget.

Like I have said before, this year is going to be really tough to make savings given the likely loss of Revenue Support Grant from the Government, but that doesn’t mean that we can abdicate our responsibility and so tonight is a tough session with deep, searching questions about the budget.

Obviously the Community and Citizenship areas of the Council will be the most controversial as that is where a lot of the “nice” options extras that the council does sit.

But, we have a plan and stick to that, and the meeting ends up being very successful.

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