Council approves budget

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Members of Cornwall Council have today formally approved a budget of £505 million for 2014/2015.

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The revenue budget, which was recommended by the cabinet last month, is based on a 1.97 % increase in Council Tax – equating to a 47p per week increase (£24.51 a year) for a Band D property.

The Council voted in November 2013 to set an early budget, which, it says, has already resulted in savings of £7 million.

This budget, which was endorsed at today’s meeting by 71 votes to 35 with one abstention, is based on making savings of £41 million in 2014/2015, with further reductions of £36 million in Government funding expected by 2015/2016, and £93 million by 2018/2019. This means the Council will need to find savings of up to £195 million over the next five years.

Calling on members to support the budget, Council Leader, John Pollard, said: “The plan was always to get an early budget agreed to enable us to minimise savings and start in the difficult process of the next stage of budget setting and business planning. We have achieved this.”

“Our council tax and budget setting process and the conclusion of a 1.97% rise from the next year not only gained support in this Chamber but widespread support outside. It has been scrutinised, we are ready to implement it and I am therefore seeking an affirmation from Council today to endorse the decisions made earlier.”

Seconding the budget, Alex Folkes, the Council’s cabinet member for finance and resources, added: “We need to do what is right for Cornwall. We want to keep council tax as low as possible but we have to balance this against the need to provide services for the people of Cornwall. I believe this budget achieves this.”