Finance watchdog recommends budget changes
Telford & Wrekin Council’s finance watchdog has made a number of recommendations relating to budget proposals aimed at cutting services to save £30m.
The Council’s independent Finance & Enterprise Scrutiny Committee has held a series of meetings during the four week budget consultation to examine the proposals in detail.
Now their response will go before the Council’s cabinet on February 25, with changes suggested by the committee to several of the proposed cuts. The council’s cabinet is not obliged to accept the committee’s recommendations.
These include reviewing the decision to scrap the mobile library service,deferring the plan to charge for transport to Age UK day centres and working with local communities and other organisations to minimise the impact of the proposed closure of libraries and community centres.
The scrutiny committee also supported the increase in the adult care budget and to implement a 2 per cent increase in Council Tax to fund adult social care but made it clear that this rise will not be enough to make up the deficit in the adult care budget..
Members also welcomed the council’s proposal to not close libraries until 2017/18 to allow time for consultation with the community on how services can be delivered differently.
Councillor Shirley Reynolds, chairman of the Finance & Enterprise Scrutiny Committee,said: “We appreciate that this is the council’s most difficult budget ever and that frontline services are being affected like never before.
“However, there were certain proposals that we felt could be looked at again. In someinstances, the resultant saving was not worth the impact on the community and in other instances we felt the savings could be delivered differently.
“Our response will now go before the Cabinet meeting on February 25 for them to consider the changes we have suggested.”The full list of changes to the original budget proposals are in a report that will go before the council’s Cabinet on February 25.