Raft of new council spending plans revealed

County Hall: new spending plans revealed

County Hall: new spending plans revealed

First published in News Worcester News: Tom Edwards by , Political Reporter

A RAFT of new spending plans have been revealed by Worcestershire County Council - including £6.4 million into encouraging the public to use the internet more.

A series of projects have been earmarked with taxpayers' cash by the council, including:

- £4.7 million towards Worcester Technology Park, which is being planned for land just off Junction 6 the M5

- £6.4 million into creating a new "digital strategy" aimed at marketing online services and pushing more of the public towards internet-based methods of contact

- £1.2 million towards replacement street lighting columns, as many are in a poor condition

- An extra £400,000 into Worcestershire's education centres for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties

- £2 million of additional cash for road repairs and maintenance

- £200,000 towards flooding grants for businesses, with £3,000 for firms suffering damage to their property and £1,500 where roads outside were impassable

The commitments, which are all new awards, have come about after talks at the council over how to allocate some remaining budget funds into the spending plan.

For several months now the Conservative leadership has been intent on beefing up the council services available online.

The spending was discussed during a meeting of the cabinet at County Hall.

Councillor John Smith, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: "It will certainly make a difference, I welcome the money we've allocated."

Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure said: "It's very good to see that flooding mitigation money is being made available.

"We're moving past the clean-up phase to the recovery stage now and I hope this will help our businesses get back to normal."

The technology park, an £18 million facility, will sit on 50 acres of land and when full will employ up to 3,000 workers.

It already has planning permission and construction on some of the first units will get underway over the coming months.

Despite Worcester Bosch pulling out as the main anchor tenant in 2011, the council says interest from companies has been very high.

The county council is under unprecedented financial pressure and is planning to shed around £30 million from the budget next year and £25 million in each of the following years until at least 2019.

Comments (8)

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11:49am Thu 13 Mar 14

chris4536 says...

£6.4 to encourage the public to use the internet more!
Have our Wychavon managers gone crackers?
This money could put to better use in a variety of ways.
Those that approved this expenditure should be sacked.
£6.4 to encourage the public to use the internet more! Have our Wychavon managers gone crackers? This money could put to better use in a variety of ways. Those that approved this expenditure should be sacked. chris4536
  • Score: 7

11:57am Thu 13 Mar 14

skychip says...

What a waste of money to spend encouraging people to use the internet more. Unbelievable, whoever comes up with these ideas. Also hope there will be plenty of parking at the Technology Park otherwise the streets around there will be clogged.
What a waste of money to spend encouraging people to use the internet more. Unbelievable, whoever comes up with these ideas. Also hope there will be plenty of parking at the Technology Park otherwise the streets around there will be clogged. skychip
  • Score: 7

11:58am Thu 13 Mar 14

chris4536 says...

Correction :-
it is Worcestershire county council who intend to spend £6.4 million on the internet.
They have totally lost the plot.
Correction :- it is Worcestershire county council who intend to spend £6.4 million on the internet. They have totally lost the plot. chris4536
  • Score: 7

1:21pm Thu 13 Mar 14

voledog says...

They're spending all that money to encourage people to use the Internet as a point of contact with the council so they can sack all their staff who currently do that terribly unfashionable task of directly providing services to the tax payer. This is a Tory administration, they're only spending money so they can make greater cuts elsewhere. It'll take all those employees off the council's books so they can show the government how loyal they are to Osborne's bonkers austerity experiment and shift the burden to the Department of Work and Pensions who will then have to pay their unemployment benefits. It'll be a bigger cost in the long run to the state, but that's Tory doctrine for you.
They're spending all that money to encourage people to use the Internet as a point of contact with the council so they can sack all their staff who currently do that terribly unfashionable task of directly providing services to the tax payer. This is a Tory administration, they're only spending money so they can make greater cuts elsewhere. It'll take all those employees off the council's books so they can show the government how loyal they are to Osborne's bonkers austerity experiment and shift the burden to the Department of Work and Pensions who will then have to pay their unemployment benefits. It'll be a bigger cost in the long run to the state, but that's Tory doctrine for you. voledog
  • Score: 6

1:55pm Thu 13 Mar 14

thompson9100 says...

6.4 million. Now is it me or would that amount be worth about 3 years funding for public transport at current levels over and above the money "found" from September. Like the county council don't have anything online? The services provided online through all the council's seem pretty adequate to me. Pay for stuff, report road and lighting issues, tax, rates, planning etc etc all there. So please then justify why this is going to be good value.
6.4 million. Now is it me or would that amount be worth about 3 years funding for public transport at current levels over and above the money "found" from September. Like the county council don't have anything online? The services provided online through all the council's seem pretty adequate to me. Pay for stuff, report road and lighting issues, tax, rates, planning etc etc all there. So please then justify why this is going to be good value. thompson9100
  • Score: 9

2:52pm Thu 13 Mar 14

althom says...

Let's have a breakdown of the figures for this £6.5M spend on internet encouragement. There certainly doesn't appear to be any justification for this spending, unless they are giving free IP use to all of us! Better transport links is what's required around Worcester.
Let's have a breakdown of the figures for this £6.5M spend on internet encouragement. There certainly doesn't appear to be any justification for this spending, unless they are giving free IP use to all of us! Better transport links is what's required around Worcester. althom
  • Score: 8

3:16pm Thu 13 Mar 14

Hwicce says...

The headline must have a spelling mistake in it. I'm sure it should say "Daft new council spending plans revealed"

£6.4million on the internet!!!!!!!!!!!!
The headline must have a spelling mistake in it. I'm sure it should say "Daft new council spending plans revealed" £6.4million on the internet!!!!!!!!!!!! Hwicce
  • Score: 2

8:28pm Thu 13 Mar 14

green49 says...

Yet another load of incompetant management by this Tory mob,
I see
Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure has reared his head again after being shot to blazes over his last load of lies he issued, cant wait to vote him out.
Yet another load of incompetant management by this Tory mob, I see Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure has reared his head again after being shot to blazes over his last load of lies he issued, cant wait to vote him out. green49
  • Score: 4

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