IN the year that a 1.95 per cent council tax increase was fought off, Poole council generated a £2.057million ‘profit’.
Borough of Poole’s final accounts for 2013/14 show that a £2.4million budget surplus predicted in April 2013, ended up as just over £2m.
The Conservative administration of the hung council proposed a 1.94 per cent council tax rise in February 2013 which was outvoted at the budget meeting in favour of no increase.
Council leader Cllr Elaine Atkinson warned at the time that Poole was on the edge of a financial abyss while Liberal Democrat Cllr Phil Eades accused her of scaremongering.
He said: “It is extraordinary that the council could have made such a profit at the expense of residents of Poole at a time when the leader of the council told us we had to put up council tax just to stave off bankruptcy.
“Clearly this was not the case and it is nothing short of disgraceful that the leader should have tried scaring residents and indeed councillors into paying ever more tax.
“Residents of Poole must be very wary of believing financial forecasts from the leader of the council ever again.”
Cllr Atkinson said: “Over £1.7m of this surplus was predicted a year ago and is a result of our successful management of demand in adult social care and additional investment attracted from the NHS.
“The remaining surplus came from extra government funding which was not announced until April 2014. This long predicted surplus was regularly discussed last year by the council’s all-party budget working party. It forms an important part of the council’s financial strategy which continues to deliver the lowest council tax in Dorset.”