Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 12°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Labour leader calls on council to dip into £17m reserves - should the money be used to support the most vulnerable in our community?

06:00 21 January 2014

Should we raid council reserves?

Should we raid council reserves?

County council reserves should be used to ease some of the worst affects of proposed spending cuts, the main opposition at Endeavour House has said.

shares

Labour group leader Sandy Martin said the county’s contingency reserve – money that is not set aside for any specific purposes, but held in case of a “rainy day” – would have increased from £11.4 million on March 31 last year, to £17.1 million on the same day this year.

He said: “At a time when the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government is slashing funding for councils, it is absurd that Suffolk is still squirrelling money away like this.”

Mr Martin was speaking as the county’s cabinet prepares to debate the budget for the 2014/15 financial year at its cabinet meeting next week.

It is planning to make cuts of £38.6 million over the next 12 months. Among the largest savings will come from the end of the contract with Customer Service Direct (£9 million) and from the start of the new incinerator at Great Blakenham (£8.2 million).

However Labour says the savings will hit those who need support – and says it would be better to use some of its reserves to support these policies.

Cabinet member with responsibility for the budget Colin Noble said the total reserves were coming down from £129 million to £117 million, but individual departments’ reserves had been consolidated – resulting in an increase in the contingency reserve figure.

He said: “We have asked departments to prudently take measures to bring their spending under control which is what we are seeing here.

“I know Labour likes to take spending to the absolute limit and then put up council tax bills, but we prefer a more reasonable approach.”

shares

12 comments

  • 1 man digging a hole out side my shop 7 men and 1 woman all in suits turning up during the day at one time 5 of them 2 with clip boards 1 with a camera all standing around looking at the hole some sand put in it then filled in that's what i call a waist of staff

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

  • Why have we got so much surplus for a rainy day. Spend it on roads, schools, people anything to improve the town and the welfare of the residents. Whatever you do IBC please don't invest it in any foreign banks promising high interest rates(hello Iceland).

    Report this comment

    royg

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Interestingly, where labour are in power up and down the country they too are adding to their [council] reserves. It seems the call for spending only comes when in opposition - and therefore don't have the responsibility.

    Report this comment

    John Alborough

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Only problem would be for every pound to be spent 75p would go in administration and extra staff not to the people who need it .

    Report this comment

    pandy

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • By the way I also find the use of the word "raid" in the headline misleading and very loaded. I don't suppose Cllr Martin is suggesting the use of stockings over the head and baseball bats to access these funds. Don't care for the use such tabloidesque scaremogering headlines.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Watson

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • How so Mr Grumpy? How is it robbing taxpayers to spend money on vulnerable folk like the housebound elderly (who will have paid plenty of tax) and other marginalised groups like young NEETS and isolated young rural jobseekers? Cllr Martin suggested some of the held back funds be reallocated to vulnerable groups, that doesn't constitute a "raid." Hysterical headlines provoke hysterical and infantile reactions, generally from people unwilling to use their real names.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Watson

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • They'll only spend it on more traffic lights.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Seems a moderate, sensible and reasonable thing to do to use a proportion of the money held in reserve to support services for the most vulnerable in our county. If this isn't a "rainy day" then when is? As a council tax payer I have to question why excessive reserves are being held by any council of whatever political persuasion.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Watson

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • I'm presuming that you have the figures to substantiate that comment, Pandy. Please share them with us.

    Report this comment

    Andrew Watson

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • @ James M - the savings belong to the tax payer, not SCC!

    Report this comment

    Scott Brock

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Labour's answer: when we're skint, spend your savings. Wonderful.

    Report this comment

    James M

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • The word "raid" is used presumably because they would be effectively robbing taxpayers.

    Report this comment

    Mr Grumpy

    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Image issued by the British Geological Survey of a graphic showing where an earthquake struck in Sandwich, Kent. Photo: British Geological Survey

Earth tremors have been felt in Suffolk and Essex after a 4.3 magnitude earthquake struck Kent.

A graph from a British Geological Survey monitoring station showing the earthquake measuring magnitude 4.2 which hit Kent overnight. Police and Kent Fire and Rescue Services have not received any reports of structural damage or injuries.  PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

From shaking beds to people believing they were being broken into – readers have given their accounts of the earthquake tremor which hit Suffolk and Essex.

Arrests made

Police have made a third arrest as their investigation into suspected drug overdoses in Bury St Edmunds continues.

An ambulance was called to the collision in Belstead Road. Photo: Simon Finlay

A boy has been taken to hospital after he was in a collision with a car in Ipswich.

James Rowe with his sisters, Amy and Beth

A father has spoken out about his 24-year-old son’s untimely death in a bid to prevent another “avoidable tragedy” as a result of diabetes.

New year honours list. 
Sir Bob Russell MP. 

EADT 28.4.12
EADT 1.6.12
EADT 7.8.12
EADT 9.8.12
EADT 11.9.12
EADT 27.9.12

Former Colchester MP Sir Bob Russell has called for polling day to be moved to the weekend.

Music by the Sea open air charity concert returns to Aldeburghs seafront. Photo by Dominic Whiten.

A free open air concert returns to the Suffolk coast in July, showcasing hits from the last 50 years.

Clara Gosling's First World War Victory Medal

A rare First World War medal awarded to a Brightlingsea woman has been bought at auction by the town’s museum.

Steven and Debbie Morgan pictured when they took over The Royal Oak earlier this year

Firefighters were called to a pub last night following a water leak which caused flooding.

Someone gives blood

Our investigation has highlighted the many ways the region’s victims of the contaminated blood scandal continue to be failed decades on. Today investigations editor David Powles outlines the improvements needed, while the government gives its side of the story.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages