The first budget proposals from the Conservative administration of B&NES Council have been published ahead of February's Cabinet meeting.
Councillor Andrew Furse (Kingsmead), Lib Dem spokesperson on finance, commented:
“After five years of frozen Council Tax, this first Conservative budget will hit residents with a 3.25% increase in Council Tax accompanied by cuts to services across a wide range of Council departments.”
“The continuation of the Liberal Democrat administration’s strategy of investing in property is welcome, as this helps to boost Council incomes and reduce reliance on government funding. However it seems that the Conservative plans place a lot of faith in untested and risky initiatives to balance their budgets.”
“We also have serious concerns about some of the specific savings proposals included in the draft budget. In particular, the Cabinet expects to make large savings in preventative health budgets such addiction and sexual health services, which would seem likely to increase costs in the long run.”
“We will be scrutinising the Conservative Cabinet’s proposals closely this month.”