Bassetlaw: Councillors prepare for ‘financial Ice Age’

Bassetlaw District Council, Queen's Buildings
Bassetlaw District Council, Queen's Buildings

Bassetlaw councillors were warned to buckle up for the ‘biggest financial challenges’ they had ever faced at the council’s annual budget meeting last week.

Members voted unanimously in favour of Labour’s proposed budget at Worksop Town Hall on Thursday 5th March, which will see Council Tax raised by 1.5 per cent as the council takes on a ‘financial Ice Age.’

Portfolio holder for finance, Coun June Evans, revealed that the council’s financial settlement for 2015 represents around a £1.7m cut in Government grants- with the gross budget dropping from £80m to £75m in the past decade.

She said: “If I worked as a weather presenter, I would show you a financial chart for 2015-2016 marked by a deep depression, low temperatures and warnings of ice in some areas.”

“The forecast for future years predicts not just a short, financial ‘cold snap’, but more of an ongoing Ice Age, and we have to be prepared for this.”

“We need to be realistic about future funding streams and any post-election changes to Government priorities and the impact this may have on income for local authorities.”

“It is therefore essential that we encourage new development, demonstrate greater flexibility, and increase partnership working.”

Speaking on behalf of the Conservatives, Coun Tracey Taylor said that the group backed Labour’s budget overall and had no amendments to make.

“What we have done so far is commendable. However, it is what we have yet to address that presents the challenges,” said Coun Taylor.

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