It’s that time of year again. Resolutions are being arduously stuck to, or completely forgotten about depending on your disposition. Pay day is about a week away for most, making today potentially the first depressing day of the year.
It is also the time when the powers at be are feverishly putting the final touches to their budgets for the coming years and look to demonstrate to the public their priorities when spending your hard-earned tax-pennies.
Now Lincolnshire County Council has put out its budget proposals, and more on those in another post. However when you click on the link you are greeted with a page not found warning. Maybe they do not want you to know what they are proposing. You can try yourself here, but they may fix it once I let them know.
However, I wanted to talk about SKDC. I believe they will not be increasing their share of the council tax, so will have to make some pretty difficult choices over the next few weeks to deal with the changes in funding they will receive.
Going through last year’s Revenue & Capital Budget, I can see a number of different areas where I believe they can make significant savings without reducing front line services. With the budgeted costs for corporate strategy standing at £2.4million and the HR & Customer Services budget standing at £1.6million there are a few initial suggestions I can make.
The council can also make some significant changes to charges to encourage visitor numbers from both tourists and shoppers. Parking charges is always a controversial one. At the moment SKDC pulls in over £605,000 net profit on its car parks and is projecting increased revenue to take the profits over £720,000 by 2015. Does this approach seem appropriate, or are there different choices that could be made to ease the burden on the visitors to our towns.
The key to any budget is the choices that are made, and how these choices highlight where the priorities lie for the cabinet. I look forward to the proposed budget for SKDC to see what the choices are they want to make.
I would suggest that you review the budget for last year, and suggest alternative choices you would make to run a leaner, greener council that truly serves the community it represents.