Saturday, 8 October 2011

News on Cornwall Council budget for 2012-2013

The Conservative and Independent administration at Cornwall Council has just published its draft budget for 2012-2013, which will be presented to a meeting of the Cabinet on Wednesday 12th October.

Key recommendations in the provisional budget, according to a press release, include.

An additional £14.4 million for Adult Care and Support.
£700,000 to fund an Educational Maintenance Allowance scheme
for students in Cornwall to “support those most affected by the withdrawal of the Government’s national scheme earlier this year …”
Capital funding to support projects such as the detrunking of roads controlled by the Highways Agency, the dualling of the A30 at Temple and improvements to A38 accident blackspots; the development of new renewable energy facilities; the Port of Falmouth Masterplan; a new Archive and Records Office; and a housing strategy to address local housing shortages.
£365,000 to help secure the future of key voluntary sector organisations such as the Cornwall Rural Community Council and the Cornwall Centre for Volunteers.
Pooling the budgets of members of the Cornwall Safety Partnership to support a range of services including domestic violence and sexual abuse services.

At this point, I have no comment to make on the budget. I have yet to receive the paperwork and study it in depth. Like most members, my initial understanding of what is in the budget has come from a press statement and reports on local radio.

Indeed, it is indicative of the failings of the Cabinet system that the official press release contained messages of support for various budget proposals from individuals from outside the Council – such as the Principal of Cornwall College Dave Linnell, Mark Osterfield of Tate St Ives, and even Grand Bard Mick Paynter – and this was all before the majority of the councillors had even seen the budget!

Elected members will be able to scrutinise the provisional budget during two special Budget Scrutiny Days on Thursday 3th November and Friday 4th November, before it is brought before the full Council for a decision on 29th November.

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