Tuesday, 20 October 2009

If the report doesn't fit, disown it

Full council meetings are always a chance for political knockabout. Today was no exception. The incoming Conservative led administration commissioned a report when it was elected to look at the council's finances. My guess is that they wanted to find a big black hole and be able to blame everything on the previous (Lib Dem) administration.

The report was published today and says:

"The Council currently has a healthy balance of reserves... The new Council has made significant savings upon the transition to the new council with £15m or so expected in year one... These ongoing savings and savings strategies for year 2 and 3 will, if delivered, put the Authority in a relatively good position to deal with the severe funding pressures that will affect local government in the future... Despite these problems caused by delays in transition, overall
financial control has been maintained... The level of debt arising from external borrowing, although a large amount, is generally in line with the Authority’s capital financing requirement."

It should also be noted that Cornwall was given the highest possible AAA rating for financial management under Lib Dem control.

Yet at today's Full Council meeting, the Cabinet Member for Finance, Jim Currie, appeared to say that he had little confidence in this report and gave greater credence to a reading of the council's finances which say that all is doom and gloom.

Cllr Currie seems to forget that the unitary council is on course to make savings of more than £15 million per year. He voted against making these savings.

It seems that Jim Currie has commissioned a report and doesn't like a lot of what it has to say because it proves that the Lib Dem County Council was financially sound.

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