We won't let our budget ideas fall apart, says former city council leader

Worcester News: Councillor Simon Geraghty, the opposition Tory group leader Councillor Simon Geraghty, the opposition Tory group leader

WORCESTER'S Conservative group has upped the ante ahead of May's local elections - by saying if they grab power they will REVIST a raft of rejected ideas.

The party put forward 12 possible alterations to the Labour leadership's 2014/15 budget last month, only for all but one of them to be thrown out.

Now the Tories say if they regain control of the authority, they will seek to implement a radical blueprint.

It includes:

- Rubbish collections and parks maintenance would be handed to an outside provider with the aim of saving around £200,000 a year

- Scrapping a plan to cut £45,000 from road sweeping and cleaning

- Re-instating £10,000 due to removed from the play equipment budget

- Examining all office space with a view to "radically reduce" it, including more flexible working and hot desking

- Launching a new plan to hand all back office functions to outside bodies, and setting up a "small, highly skilled" core of staff to work towards implementing the project

In February the Tories also tried to freeze council tax, but that idea cannot be re-visited because bills are going up next month.

The party's blueprint suggests setting up a staffing core to commission out areas of work is likely to cost £100,000, with the aim of saving £250,000 a year.

The Tories want to save £50,000 by reducing building space, but not cutting road and street sweeping would leave an £80,000 black hole by 2016.

The city council has factored in savings of just under £1 million in 2014/15 due to unprecedented financial pressure.

Councillor Simon Geraghty, leader of the group, said: "We will be seeking to implement our budget amendments if we came to power.

"We've got to be clear, partnership working must be this council's default position now."

The Labour leadership says commissioning will not be off the agenda due to the fact more savings need to be made.

By 2019 around £4.1 million is likely to be have to be cut, and Labour say the raft of Conservative ideas are lacking financial credibility.

Councillor Richard Boorn, cabinet member for finance, said: "There are too many high level assumptions being made.

"A business would not take this seriously, it's too risky to say 'let's do this and we'll save this amount' with no proper work done on it."

The only Conservative budget change to be accepted was a £50,000 hardship fund for flood recovery victims.

Comments (3)

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4:33pm Fri 21 Mar 14

skychip says...

Whatever happens we want clean areas so no reduction should be made in street cleaning etc.
Whatever happens we want clean areas so no reduction should be made in street cleaning etc. skychip
  • Score: 6

12:24am Sat 22 Mar 14

Jabbadad says...

And Simon forgot to mention the continuation of more TORY CUTS TO the VULNERABLE & OLDER PEOPLES SERVICES, which seems top of the CON-servative agenda.
And Simon forgot to mention the continuation of more TORY CUTS TO the VULNERABLE & OLDER PEOPLES SERVICES, which seems top of the CON-servative agenda. Jabbadad
  • Score: -4

10:01am Sat 22 Mar 14

green49 says...

Quite right Jabbadad, Councillor Simon Geraghty ???
TORY CUTS TO the VULNERABLE & OLDER PEOPLES SERVICES, his track record is disgraceful and its about time he was ousted, a careear politicion who will tell you anything to get on, his last escapade was about funding cuts done in other counties so WCC should follow suit, it was lies the only council that had cut was the isle of wight, he got shot down by an expert who KNOWS about this and his remarks were taken out of the WN,
A TORY YES man.
Quite right Jabbadad, Councillor Simon Geraghty ??? TORY CUTS TO the VULNERABLE & OLDER PEOPLES SERVICES, his track record is disgraceful and its about time he was ousted, a careear politicion who will tell you anything to get on, his last escapade was about funding cuts done in other counties so WCC should follow suit, it was lies the only council that had cut was the isle of wight, he got shot down by an expert who KNOWS about this and his remarks were taken out of the WN, A TORY YES man. green49
  • Score: -1

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