New budget set for discussion
AMENDMENTS to this year's budget proposals for Suffolk are due to be proposed at a meeting being held on Thursday.As reported in The Evening Star last month county chiefs are to increase council tax by 3.
AMENDMENTS to this year's budget proposals for Suffolk are due to be proposed at a meeting being held on Thursday.
As reported in The Evening Star last month county chiefs are to increase council tax by 3.75 per cent which will see tax bills for a band B home - the most numerous in Ipswich - increase by about £30 a year.
The Conservative administration claims an additional £7million will be ploughed into services including a “one-off” injection of £2.5million to the county's roads maintenance budget, £1million to subsidised public transport and £2.3million on adult services.
However the Labour group argues the tax increase should be lower and believes more money should be invested in social care. Meanwhile the liberal Democrat group says the budget should be “greener”.
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The Labour proposals set the council tax increase at 2.9 pc and call for a reduction in spending on consultants while at the same time investing £4.3million to reverse proposed cuts to social care.
Kevan Lim, Labour lead for resources, finance and procurement, said: "As in previous years, the latest Conservative budget proposes cuts in vital services alongside endless increases in spending on already well funded projects.
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“This year, the government has given Suffolk an additional £10m windfall to look to the future needs of the County.
“This extra cash means that the Council can afford to invest for the future in Social Care while keeping Council Tax low.
The Liberal Democrat proposals include allocating more money for “green” schemes and working to reduce the need for travelling to meetings.
Andrew Cann, deputy leader of the county's Liberal Democrats, said: "These proposals show how easy it can be to invest in environmental schemes if you're prepared to be inventive.
“The shocking business mileage figures the Tories have racked up need to be cut.
“We're suggesting using the money saved to invest in green initiatives right across Suffolk and to cut down on energy usage at the Council.
“Also we want to use it to invest in schemes that further reduce the distance travelled by the county council each year.
“Not only will these proposals make Suffolk greener, with less pollution and congestion on our roads, but they will also make the council a leaner, more efficient organisation, wasting less of taxpayers money."
The alternative proposals will be put forward at a meeting of Suffolk County Council being held on Thursday.
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The Labour Group proposes:
A Council tax rise of 2.9pc (compared to the Conservative proposal of 3.75pc)
Reinstatement of £4.3m of Conservative proposed cuts to Social Care
A halt to £500,000 spending on consultants
A halt to additional spending on currently well-funded projects such as the Incinerator and 'Securing the Future'
Liberal Democrats proposals
Doubling of the recently announced 'Green Fund' for Suffolk from £200,000 to £400,000
£100,000 invested in schemes to reduce energy use across the council
Over £30,000 to develop ways to reduce the need to travel to meetings
The schemes will be paid for by (a) increasing savings on business mileage and (b) increasing savings on energy usage across the council - meaning there will be no extra cost to the taxpayer for the new schemes.