These are the questions I asked at Cabinet last night.
The Leader of the Council ruled that Cabinet was not a question and answer forum and so I have now posted the questions on my blog and to the Portfolio holder.
Removing the right of opposition politicians to represent their constituents at Cabinet and on their behalf raise questions and expect answers is deeply worrying and very undemocratic. I hope voters bear this in mind during the general election next year.
Questions for the Finance Portfolio Holder
The cumulative effect of the Council Tax freeze since 2010, on the revenue budget is £4 million. This means instead of being £32 million pounds the base budget would have been £36 million. The gap between revenue and need in 2017/18 is predicted to be 3.8 million. If the Conservatives on the county are happy to raise the council tax this year by 1.95% why are the same Conservatives on the borough averse to doing that?
The cost of parking to the boroughs budget is £600,000. It is NOT free! What is the return on the investment in monetary terms and what is the evidence?
LGSS promised us savings. What has been achieved in the first year. Have staff kept the terms and conditions they were tuped on?
The Environmental contract is due for renewal in 2017/18. We need o be looking at options from now. This could include bringing the service back in house and offering a service to other LAs as an income generation scheme. It could be working with the county and all the districts and boroughs on a waste management strategy.
Do we have a profit sharing contract with businesses run in our parks? Do the businesses in the park pay business rates?
There is a budget line of £22,000 for toilets in Victoria Street for the next 5 years. I presume this is for hiring a port-a-loo? A recent motion passed at full council agreed facilities at Victoria Street for the long distance coach drivers and passengers. This should include a transit lounge with toilets, vending machines and information boards. When is this going to happen and where is the budget line for that?