Friday, 8 January 2010

Budget scrutiny (part 4)

The fourth budget scrutiny meeting has just finished and now there is just one to go (the meeting of the childrens committee scheduled for yesterday was postponed when only two members could make it through the snow).

The biggest concern at today's event was about what we do not know. There is a budget heading of about £20 million for items said to include One Cornwall, Icelandic Banks, Pensions and so on. But to date we have little idea of what money is allocated for each of these and why. Whilst we don't have full details for, say, leisure centres either, at least we know what leisure centres do whereas the justification for some of these items remains unclear and members from all parties were very unhappy about being asked to agree this heading without having all the details.

For the record, it appears that Cornwall still has preferential creditor status with the Icelandic Banks and we are hopeful of getting about 82% of the money back - but that would still mean a loss of £1 million plus.

The Cabinet will now consider their final budget proposal. I very much hope that they will take into account the significant concerns expressed over the last few days about some of their initial proposals.

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