Budget approved last week

I have had lots of people asking what was agreed last week and what was not. Given that the budget motion was only presented on the day, it wasn’t that simple to answer the questions posed so I asked strategic finance staff for a breakdown. The reply was helpful as expected and was as follows:

I attach a file called Budget Approved and this has three worksheets in it:

·         Breakdown of 2015-16 to 2016-17 budget

·         Breakdown on closing the funding gap

·         Detail of unallocated general fund following decision at Council.

I also attach a file that details the savings approved, in part and in full, and those that were rejected.

 

The files referred to above are available at the links below. I hope this answers the questions asked of me but if not, ask again please.

Budget Approved 2016-17

Savings Options Approved – Accept and Reject

The really sad aspect of all of this is that some council staff were put through the mill over many months only to find their jobs saved. Worse, others went through the same process to find their jobs were to go. The Reform Group proposals were rejected but these would have affected far fewer people, most of them higher paid.

The council had to find savings of just over £10m but you might like to know that almost a quarter of this was due to the UK Government making a change to the way national insurance contributions are made. There has always been a rebate scheme for employers whose staff are in an occupational pension scheme but this has been removed. In effect, Osborne has imposed an additional employment tax on many employers and in our case this amounted to £2.324m.

More to follow in due course because although I have given you the breakdown in the files above, how some of the savings are to be made is most unclear. For example, there is a cut in travel costs, totally unexplained. But did you know that the council pays staff and councillors for some 3.6 million miles of travel a year, 2.457 million of which are paid at 45p per mile?

Just think about these numbers for a moment as they are mind boggling.

Author: Michael Breslin

I am no longer a councillor with Argyll & Bute Council but given the appalling treatment I got from the senior officers and a few elected members, I plan to continue keeping an eye on what the council is doing.

3 thoughts on “Budget approved last week”

  1. Thanks Michael if it weren’t for your postings/ e-mails a lot of people would be in the dark, so keep up the great work Michael please.
    Having been involved with the cuts ,mainly due to my sons Autism disability, and these cuts directly affecting mostly the people around him, it is fair to say that most of the staff/parents that Dick &co (they know who they are) targeted, have the opinion that “the goodwill has gone” to put these people through this unnecessary exercise has damaged relationships irrevocably.

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  2. Michael,

    I intend to write a letter to the Observer highlighting the huge travel costs for the council which you have indicated. I was going to mention you as the source. Are you happy with that?

    Regards,

    Dave ________________________________________

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