Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Avril Davies responds to Bucks CC proposed budget - the transcript

These are the published minutes by Bucks CC.

'The Liberal Democrat Spokesperson [Cllr Avril Davies] presented views on the proposed budget which had been well presented by the Leader. 

They complimented the work of the Overview and Scrutiny Commissioning Committee, the Strategic Plan and Draft Budget Scrutiny Review Group which had been an excellent process and highlighted concerns with some aspects of the budget. 

The Group did not disagree with the Strategic Plan but were interested by which means and methods the key objectives would be achieved. Some of their concerns included being sustainable, achieving full potential of young people, protecting the vulnerable and dealing with a complex budget with changes in the funding formula. The Group supported the freeze in the Council Tax but expressed concern that this was not a progressive tax and that people in lower bands pay more than they should.

They supported the use of balances and increased income. Fully sustainable transport modes should be encouraged as roads were an important asset. Businesses need roads to distribute goods and to support the economy. 

They had always believed that money should have been borrowed to maintain this asset, particularly as the Council would be borrowing money for the EfW plant. She commented that EfW was the right idea but in this case was the wrong solution in the wrong place with the wrong contract and wrong numbers being put forward. This was why it was being looked at through a Judicial Review.

The commissioning model for social care was a risk. Transport, social care and children’s services was a fragmented model. Some staff could be very demoralised with this model in place. Whilst it was important to deliver savings, the Liberal Democrat Group did not believe it was the right model.'

Avril Davies