• The Local Development Framework has been pronounced “unsound” by the Inspector who heard objections to it. This means the Council cannot approve it.



  • The main issue before the Council is the budget and the Council Tax. This comes in two parts:


    • The Revenue Budget -  The way this was originally drawn, members were being asked to cut services and decide which services to cut. I strongly opposed this. However, the budget has since been refined and it now looks as though the Council Tax will increase will match the RPI, and be no higher, and that this can be achieved without any cuts in service. I will keep the Council informed.


    • The Capital Programme and Budget – This has been underspent this year so far by about £3M, although the Council expects to spend £2M of this by March 31st. Consideration has been given to a programme to spend the Council’s reserves on worthwhile projects to benefit the community. It looks as though the Council will now agree to do this, although some of the reserves may have to be retained to provide interest which will support the Revenue budget. As most members will know, I have been campaigning for years to get the Council to spend its reserves, and, if the Council accepts the need to do so in principle, this will be a tremendous step forward. There may be difficulties in implementation, and I am very hopeful that the new chief executive will be able to get projects moving.





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