Budget: ‘No silver bullet’

Worcester News: Budget: ‘No silver bullet’ Budget: ‘No silver bullet’

PLANS to raise car parking charges, increase council tax by nearly two per cent and reduce street cleaning are under consultation.

Worcester City Council’s Labour leadership says it is “in a listening mood” – and wants to hear views on the draft 2014/15 budget.

Councillor Richard Boorn, member for finance, warned at a city council meeting that there was “no silver bullet” to solve the financial problems. But he pledged to listen to alternative ideas for saving cash, with £974,000 needing to be cut.

Unprecedented reductions in Government funding means that more than £4 million is likely to be cut from spending by 2019.

“People need to understand that if they moan about things in the budget they don’t like, that is absolutely fine, but they can’t just say, ‘We don’t like it’, because we need to have an alternative,” said Coun Boorn. “If something is a good idea and helps this city, we will look at it – we need more consensual politics. I will take a great interest in what people say because we want a budget everyone can support.”

As your Worcester News revealed two weeks ago, the budget includes increasing garden waste charges by £10 to £47 a year; raising adult cremation costs from £610 to £700, and scrapping the 30-minute parking tariff and the £1 evening rate.

Four-hour stays at parks in Copenhagen Street, Cornmarket and Providence Street will also go up, from £5 to £6.

Coun Geoff Williams, the deputy leader and cabinet member for economic prosperity, defended the car park rises. A poll of 500 respondents, he said, suggested 62 per cent thought it was value for money and 67 per cent said the rises would not result in them parking elsewhere.

A proposed 1.9 per cent council tax increase in April would add just £3.23 to the yearly £1,453 average band D bill because the city council is responsible for 11 per cent of the bill. It would be the first rise since 2010, after being frozen for three successive years by the previous Tory administration.

The budget includes a pledge to ring-fence £1.3 million of New Homes Bonus cash awarded by the Government in recognition of how many homes are built.

It will be split three ways - with a third going towards new affordable housing, a third towards regeneration, and the rest towards any measures deemed to boost the economy.

The budget will be finalised in February.

Comments (7)

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5:14pm Fri 13 Dec 13

lilboo says...

"In a listening mood" pah! Yeah right! Is it 1st April?.
"In a listening mood" pah! Yeah right! Is it 1st April?. lilboo

5:27pm Fri 13 Dec 13

newike says...

Simple really. Asda carpark is always jammed full at excellent value £1 for three hours. Why not give it a try for three months, all car parks £1 for three hours. Big fine if parked for too long eg £10 for up to half an hour £20 for each hour or part of.
Simple really. Asda carpark is always jammed full at excellent value £1 for three hours. Why not give it a try for three months, all car parks £1 for three hours. [ or even 2 hours ] Big fine if parked for too long eg £10 for up to half an hour £20 for each hour or part of. newike

6:52pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Paul Griffiths says...

@newkie

Just to be clear, would your criterion for success be (a) fuller car parks or (b) more income?
@newkie Just to be clear, would your criterion for success be (a) fuller car parks or (b) more income? Paul Griffiths

8:21pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Jabbadad says...

To reduce street cleaning without effective enforcement for LITTER DROPPERS would quickly turn this city into a 3rd world City.
Those who keep our cities clean should have more gratitude shown them. And those who drop litter should be fined. Fast Food outlets should be made to frequently clean up the rubbish / Containers that they have sold. And they should be fined for not keeping the fronts of their businesses clear of rubbish.
And pleas Note I said MADE NOT ASKED.
To reduce street cleaning without effective enforcement for LITTER DROPPERS would quickly turn this city into a 3rd world City. Those who keep our cities clean should have more gratitude shown them. And those who drop litter should be fined. Fast Food outlets should be made to frequently clean up the rubbish / Containers that they have sold. And they should be fined for not keeping the fronts of their businesses clear of rubbish. And pleas Note I said MADE NOT ASKED. Jabbadad

11:57pm Fri 13 Dec 13

PrivateSi says...

That's a PITY, Warewolf-Outsourcers
, & SaucerERERM..Mailers
...
That's a PITY, Warewolf-Outsourcers , & SaucerERERM..Mailers ... PrivateSi

3:57pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Paul Oldroyd says...

Paul Griffiths wrote:
@newkie

Just to be clear, would your criterion for success be (a) fuller car parks or (b) more income?
My guess would be that - if we want to make sure that people spend money in the city - then fuller car parks would be a Good Thing.

Unless of course we could encourage people onto the buses ..... ah, of course not. They're being cut.
[quote][p][bold]Paul Griffiths[/bold] wrote: @newkie Just to be clear, would your criterion for success be (a) fuller car parks or (b) more income?[/p][/quote]My guess would be that - if we want to make sure that people spend money in the city - then fuller car parks would be a Good Thing. Unless of course we could encourage people onto the buses ..... ah, of course not. They're being cut. Paul Oldroyd

8:18pm Sat 14 Dec 13

Paul Griffiths says...

@Paul Oldroyd

Fair enough, except that more people spending money in the city doesn't straightforwardly translate into more income to (or lower costs for) the city council, and the news story is about balancing the budget.
@Paul Oldroyd Fair enough, except that more people spending money in the city doesn't straightforwardly translate into more income to (or lower costs for) the city council, and the news story is about balancing the budget. Paul Griffiths
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