Friday, 4 March 2011


Cllr Woodley and his independent group have now decided that the next great issue is the level of council borrowing. Notwithstanding his self proclaimed status as financial guru Cllr Woodley expresses sudden concern and surpise at council borrowing levels as though he has just discovered the situation following some detailed investigation. Infact every member of council receives 3 monthly treasury management reports, an annual treasury management statement and details of funding linked to the capital programme which means that anyone who bothers to read the paperwork must be fully aware of our treasury management policy. He has been on the council for four years - did he not understand this information or if he did why did he not raise his concerns before. What he fails to mention is that in calculating local government funding the government has always included an allowance for the funding of capital borrowing realising that capital investment is essential. Previously this was seperately identified but more recently has just been included in the general pot. A failure to use this funding would result in significant underinvestment which was the case before we got a proper hold of the capital programme a few years ago. The cost of borrowing is about 2% of the council's annual budget which is less than many other authorities and is"prudent, affordable and sustainable" to use the words of our Head of Finance (who is qualified and experienced in public funding). So Ron why is this only mentioned now and without giving the full story and which capital projects which we have funded over recent years do you oppose? And the really frightening thing is that the Independents think that members should be micro managing the councils overall buget of £500M rather than make the policy relying on the expertise of our professional officers.

No comments:

Post a Comment