Update from Iain
At the Budget Council Meeting on Wednesday Night, the Labour majority held Bury Council voted through a budget that is putting your Council Tax up by just short of 4%. Why didn’t they just do 4% ? The reason is that they would have had to put it to a local referendum. Bury Conservatives opposed this increase at a time when they are cutting services, including reverting to 3 weekly bin collections. They also could have avoided it by supporting our Budget proposals to raise extra income and investment in our town which would have increased business rates revenue.
A full copy of our Budget amendment that they voted down is below:-
SPECIAL COUNCIL 24th FEBRUARY 2016
BUDGET 2016/17 TO 2018/19
AMENDMENT BY THE BURY COUNCIL CONSERVATIVE GROUP
The revenue budget submitted to Council should be approved, the Bury element of the Council Tax frozen, the Chancellor’s 2% Social Care precept offer accepted and the shortfall identified in the Budget report met through the savings options set out in the relevant Appendix of the report, with the following amendments:
Whilst Bury has good employment and education levels, many residents travel outside of the borough to find jobs which are better paid than those available in the borough. The Conservative group are committed to attracting businesses to Bury which can offer better paid jobs for local residents and opportunities for young people to progress into a professional career, for example in high tech or health sectors. This would be delivered through:
• Working with local Higher Education providers including local universities, colleges, training providers and employers to help local people develop their skills, qualifications and readiness to progress into higher skilled and higher paid jobs.
• Indentifying a Council owned site on which a local Centre of Excellence could be developed to train and educate a workforce capable of undertaking high skilled and high paid jobs.
• Appointing an Inward Investment Manager to identify new opportunities and funding streams (funded for a period of 3 years from General Fund reserves).
• Working with the Manchester Business Growth Company to develop an inward investment campaign targeted at high tech/health sector or generally better paid employment sector – to attract and encourage them to relocate to Bury.
• Working with existing businesses (who offer well paid work) to promote jobs opportunities to local people first.
The Group also recognises that having an attractive environment within the Borough will play a key role in attracting and retaining businesses and that the Council also has a duty to protect our most vulnerable residents.
• £3,100,000 to Improve the environment of our Borough by increasing funding for highway maintenance, repairing pot holes, undertaking line markings, fly tipping enforcement, gully and culvert cleansing, dog fouling enforcement, street light repairs and reinstating two-weekly residual bin collections
• £1,800,000 to Increase funding for help with demand pressures in social care and protecting vulnerable people
• £100,000 to Appoint an Inward Investment Manager
TO BE FUNDED BY:-
• £2,000,000 from One-off contribution from General Fund balances leaving the residual above the agreed £4.25m minimum level
• £1,300,000 Income from 2% Social Care precept (100% Ring-Fenced to the social care budget)
• £10,000 from Removing Deputy Cabinet members’ allowances
• £10,000 Savings in e agendas and courier services and withdrawing free meals for Councillors
•£150,000. from Top slicing senior staff salaries by 10% where over £50,000 pa
• £80,000 from Reducing funding for Trade Union posts
• £15,000 by Reducing Councillors’ Special Responsibility Allowances by 10%
• £300,000 Savings from agency staff budget
• £1,135,000 by Outsourcing back office support services
Total Amendment Amount £5,000,000.