No council tax rise for Poole despite “massive funding gaps” in services

Bournemouth Echo: PROPOSAL: No council tax rise has been proposed for Borough of Poole PROPOSAL: No council tax rise has been proposed for Borough of Poole

DESPITE “massive funding gaps” in Borough of Poole services, no council tax rise is being proposed for this year and next year.

Councillors will be asked to accept a balanced budget at their meeting on Tuesday with recommendations from a cross-party Star Chamber.

The net budget for 2014/15 will be £146.8million.

Council leader Cllr Elaine Atkinson said that after dealing with £40m of grants cuts and budget pressures over the last five years, there were £34.5m of pressures to face over the next four years.

“We have got massive funding gaps in the services that we provide,” she said.

“Council tax recommendation is a zero increase this year and next year and we are proposing to take any council tax freeze grant that’s made available.”

Pressures include increasing demands in social care and uncertainty over the Care Bill, new school places and affordable housing.

There has been a £4m windfall from the NHS and partnership working with other local authorities and other agencies, such as the Stour Valley joint revenues and benefits service, has led to savings.

However, having reduced staff by 12 per cent, further job losses – under 20 – are expected to take place.

And having put aside £4.5m in reserves to support the next three years, the council has £5.75m in un-earmarked reserves, the lowest acceptable.

“I believe we run an efficient council with sound financial management, prudent, and we haven’t had a budget overfund for 11 years,” said Cllr Atkinson. “And we still have the lowest council tax in Dorset and have had for 14 consecutive years.”

Chief executive John McBride said: “Next year is going to be tough.”

He said they were still fighting Poole’s corner, however: “There is a hard job to do. We are very capable of doing it.”

Groups work together

Liberal Democrat leader, Cllr Mike Brooke, a member of the Star Chamber said his group would not be presenting an alternative budget this year.

“This demonstrates that for the benefit of the people of Poole it’s possible for us to work together on important issues,” he said.

Among issues they were supporting were funds for apprenticeships, a new award for youth groups supporting vulnerable people in their community and an extra £150,000 to go towards pothole repairs.

Comments (12)

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6:13am Thu 20 Feb 14

Happy Hobbit says...

“I believe we run an efficient council with sound financial management..." said Cllr Atkinson.

What a hero

So how come Elaine Atkinson & the otherConservatives voted FOR a rise last year?

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-england-dor
set-21599359
“I believe we run an efficient council with sound financial management..." said Cllr Atkinson. What a hero So how come Elaine Atkinson & the otherConservatives voted FOR a rise last year? http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-england-dor set-21599359 Happy Hobbit

7:48am Thu 20 Feb 14

kalebmoledirt says...

As it will be a few years before any planning permission is given to the prime sites in the centre .turn them over too traveller camps they always seem to a few Bob to spend on tacky end of the line facilities on offer,plus it give the electors a break .And give the council a first hand experience of our "Summer visitors"
As it will be a few years before any planning permission is given to the prime sites in the centre .turn them over too traveller camps they always seem to a few Bob to spend on tacky end of the line facilities on offer,plus it give the electors a break .And give the council a first hand experience of our "Summer visitors" kalebmoledirt

7:54am Thu 20 Feb 14

skydriver says...

Well they have a surplus I think.....big time that's what is for.
Well they have a surplus I think.....big time that's what is for. skydriver

8:33am Thu 20 Feb 14

Carolyn43 says...

Massive gaps in funding, but money for a travellers site.
......
Atkinson should be resigning soon if she has any self-respect and integrity - if the travellers' site doesn't get planning permission, which would have wasted money, and resulted in the needless sacking of Judy Butt; if it goes ahead and isn't used, as the travellers' have said they won't, it will be another waste of money and another white elephant and destruction of another green area. A lose lose situation as far as Atkinson's concerned.
Massive gaps in funding, but money for a travellers site. ...... Atkinson should be resigning soon if she has any self-respect and integrity - if the travellers' site doesn't get planning permission, which would have wasted money, and resulted in the needless sacking of Judy Butt; if it goes ahead and isn't used, as the travellers' have said they won't, it will be another waste of money and another white elephant and destruction of another green area. A lose lose situation as far as Atkinson's concerned. Carolyn43

9:00am Thu 20 Feb 14

moleman says...

How can we have a massive funding gap and need to cut jobs, but still carry on with spending £250.000 on a Temporary Stopping Site for travellers.
Is this "sound financial management ", I don't think so. This is a ludicrous waste of money.
How can we have a massive funding gap and need to cut jobs, but still carry on with spending £250.000 on a Temporary Stopping Site for travellers. Is this "sound financial management ", I don't think so. This is a ludicrous waste of money. moleman

9:05am Thu 20 Feb 14

moleman says...

How can the Council claim that it has massive funding gaps and then propose to spend £250,000 on a Temporary Stopping Place for travellers and a further £30,000 on going annual cost .
This is not sound financial management. It is a ludicrous waste of money.
How can the Council claim that it has massive funding gaps and then propose to spend £250,000 on a Temporary Stopping Place for travellers and a further £30,000 on going annual cost . This is not sound financial management. It is a ludicrous waste of money. moleman

9:37am Thu 20 Feb 14

Victor_Meldrew_Lives! says...

Compared to other councils Poole may well be more efficient. But don't be fooled that they are efficient compared to businesses.
Their tendering processes and purchasing practices are quite shocking, you certainly wouldn't pay the prices that they do for goods and services.
There is still a lot of deadwood working there.
There are still a lot of mad schemes and practices they shell out for - bus station mural for 300k!
More collaboration with Bournemouth is needed to keep costs down.
Compared to other councils Poole may well be more efficient. But don't be fooled that they are efficient compared to businesses. Their tendering processes and purchasing practices are quite shocking, you certainly wouldn't pay the prices that they do for goods and services. There is still a lot of deadwood working there. There are still a lot of mad schemes and practices they shell out for - bus station mural for 300k! More collaboration with Bournemouth is needed to keep costs down. Victor_Meldrew_Lives!

1:12pm Thu 20 Feb 14

muscliffman says...

No rise in Council Tax for the next year....excellent so that will certainly save the 'travellers' a few quid in their Poole Council Tax contributions (they do pay don't they?) as they plan their 2014 holidays anywhere in the Town but on the official site/s.
No rise in Council Tax for the next year....excellent so that will certainly save the 'travellers' a few quid in their Poole Council Tax contributions (they do pay don't they?) as they plan their 2014 holidays anywhere in the Town but on the official site/s. muscliffman

2:23pm Thu 20 Feb 14

speedy231278 says...

Wouldn't have to struggle so much if they hadn't wasted, and continue to waste money on that defective bridge!
Wouldn't have to struggle so much if they hadn't wasted, and continue to waste money on that defective bridge! speedy231278

3:01pm Thu 20 Feb 14

hypnojoo says...

Same issue here as today's other Bournemouth Council Tax story. Obviously nobody likes increased tax!
But the way the Council are affording this is by cutting the terms and conditions of their frontline staff AND their lowest-paid staff (carers, emergency response teams, bin men, etc).
While management pay, of course, remains the same.
Same issue here as today's other Bournemouth Council Tax story. Obviously nobody likes increased tax! But the way the Council are affording this is by cutting the terms and conditions of their frontline staff AND their lowest-paid staff (carers, emergency response teams, bin men, etc). While management pay, of course, remains the same. hypnojoo

4:00pm Thu 20 Feb 14

muscliffman says...

hypnojoo wrote:
Same issue here as today's other Bournemouth Council Tax story. Obviously nobody likes increased tax!
But the way the Council are affording this is by cutting the terms and conditions of their frontline staff AND their lowest-paid staff (carers, emergency response teams, bin men, etc).
While management pay, of course, remains the same.
Naturally - it's because they can.

But only the same? Surely by creating new management positions with fancier Officer names their pay is actually rising, it's what they have been doing unchallenged for years.
[quote][p][bold]hypnojoo[/bold] wrote: Same issue here as today's other Bournemouth Council Tax story. Obviously nobody likes increased tax! But the way the Council are affording this is by cutting the terms and conditions of their frontline staff AND their lowest-paid staff (carers, emergency response teams, bin men, etc). While management pay, of course, remains the same.[/p][/quote]Naturally - it's because they can. But only the same? Surely by creating new management positions with fancier Officer names their pay is actually rising, it's what they have been doing unchallenged for years. muscliffman

12:09am Fri 21 Feb 14

paul.p says...

Ask the Government if it's possible to keep all the money the VAT and Business rates raise in the Borough over a year.

One of the things that's really bugged me is the way local and national Gov't. tell us 'Next year is going to be tough' yeah yeah yeah, every year, it's going to be tough....change the bloody record and start demanding money from a corrupt bunch of 'I don't have the relevant qualifications for this job' scammers!

This sort of rubbish has been going on for years....it's like everything is in a circular motion round and round, the usual 'we've got no money' and 'we have to cut services'...doesn't anyone remember anything about the last 5, 10, 20 years?

Where has it got anyone....nowhere.
Ask the Government if it's possible to keep all the money the VAT and Business rates raise in the Borough over a year. One of the things that's really bugged me is the way local and national Gov't. tell us 'Next year is going to be tough' yeah yeah yeah, every year, it's going to be tough....change the bloody record and start demanding money from a corrupt bunch of 'I don't have the relevant qualifications for this job' scammers! This sort of rubbish has been going on for years....it's like everything is in a circular motion round and round, the usual 'we've got no money' and 'we have to cut services'...doesn't anyone remember anything about the last 5, 10, 20 years? Where has it got anyone....nowhere. paul.p

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