Colchester Council warns of tough decisions but aims to keep council tax frozen

Colchester Council warns of tough decisions but aims to keep council tax frozen

Colchester Council warns of tough decisions but aims to keep council tax frozen

First published in News

Colchester Council warned it faces more difficult money-saving decisions as it tries to make up for a £1.1million budget shortfall.

Paul Smith, councillor for business, ruled out dipping into the council’s £7.2million reserves.

He also revealed it was not planning a council tax increase for 2015/16.

He said: “The £1.1million made up by cuts in Government grants. We have lived with it for four years, but we have been able to plan ahead and are confident we can do so going forward, protecting frontline services while looking for efficiencies and savings.

“That is not to say there won’t be cuts because unfortunate decisions will have to be made.”

Full story in today's Gazette

Comments (20)

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3:50pm Fri 15 Aug 14

AngryManNewTown says...

£7.2m in reserve!?!?! The name gives away what it should be used for. If there is a shortfall somewhere then (if you have it) you use the reserve cash that you have surely??
£7.2m in reserve!?!?! The name gives away what it should be used for. If there is a shortfall somewhere then (if you have it) you use the reserve cash that you have surely?? AngryManNewTown
  • Score: 12

11:55pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Hamiltonandy says...

No the reserve is for unexpected events. The government reduction in grants is predictable and means the council will do less and less. Non-mandatory things such as park maintenance will go but it is unlikely councillors will accept lower payments.
No the reserve is for unexpected events. The government reduction in grants is predictable and means the council will do less and less. Non-mandatory things such as park maintenance will go but it is unlikely councillors will accept lower payments. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 2

10:19am Sat 16 Aug 14

TheBrotherhoodOfTheBell says...

We are definitely not paying "The Easy Street Mob" any more more money, its Foxtrot Oscar so far as most of us are concerned.
While you lot have been stuffing your faces with the Pret Ala MnS us lot have been f*****g starving and living on basic discount labels in the last 7 years !
You need to get a grip on the money you have wasted, imbeciles and criminal so far as we are all concerned.
Pumping money into art & leisure facilities while there is lot in the pot for precious life saving resources and defence bl***dy scandalous and as for health care ?
How you lot at Rowan House live with yourselves one beggars and that bunch at county hall is no different.
We need some sort of protest, some visual demonstration, that we can no longer afford this wastage and penalty over our bonces.
It is no longer a levy or a service it has now become a noosed enforcement around our necks, that is paying for services to feral people.
As for the gazette go on you keep blocking and removing our posts what the point of a voice when you back the system up ?
We are definitely not paying "The Easy Street Mob" any more more money, its Foxtrot Oscar so far as most of us are concerned. While you lot have been stuffing your faces with the Pret Ala MnS us lot have been f*****g starving and living on basic discount labels in the last 7 years ! You need to get a grip on the money you have wasted, imbeciles and criminal so far as we are all concerned. Pumping money into art & leisure facilities while there is lot in the pot for precious life saving resources and defence bl***dy scandalous and as for health care ? How you lot at Rowan House live with yourselves one beggars and that bunch at county hall is no different. We need some sort of protest, some visual demonstration, that we can no longer afford this wastage and penalty over our bonces. It is no longer a levy or a service it has now become a noosed enforcement around our necks, that is paying for services to feral people. As for the gazette go on you keep blocking and removing our posts what the point of a voice when you back the system up ? TheBrotherhoodOfTheBell
  • Score: 16

10:55am Sat 16 Aug 14

Shrubendlad says...

Hamiltonandy wrote:
No the reserve is for unexpected events. The government reduction in grants is predictable and means the council will do less and less. Non-mandatory things such as park maintenance will go but it is unlikely councillors will accept lower payments.
Andy//
I don't see Colchesters Yellow Clown suffering from 6 years of cut backs
Real Families have suffered. Real families have had to pull together to survive. I have been paying a large proportion of my childrens basic bills.
Yet we see huge Colchester Corporation Assets-the redundant bus station,Keddies,ware
houses,£100,000 a year wasted on the Community Stadium.-.Time to end the cutbacks and go for real growth in GDP.
[quote][p][bold]Hamiltonandy[/bold] wrote: No the reserve is for unexpected events. The government reduction in grants is predictable and means the council will do less and less. Non-mandatory things such as park maintenance will go but it is unlikely councillors will accept lower payments.[/p][/quote]Andy// I don't see Colchesters Yellow Clown suffering from 6 years of cut backs Real Families have suffered. Real families have had to pull together to survive. I have been paying a large proportion of my childrens basic bills. Yet we see huge Colchester Corporation Assets-the redundant bus station,Keddies,ware houses,£100,000 a year wasted on the Community Stadium.-.Time to end the cutbacks and go for real growth in GDP. Shrubendlad
  • Score: 2

11:12am Sat 16 Aug 14

Shrubendlad says...

If the political parties want to cut something in this country-look at the massive WELFARE budget-no not cuts on the most vunerable.
Why are so called disabled-people who can walk around the town-being given FREE £20,000 "disability cars" every three years. In particular cars made outside the EU(Korean).
We don't want to go back to the old 3 wheelers. Hard working families-if they have a car use old bangers.
If the political parties want to cut something in this country-look at the massive WELFARE budget-no not cuts on the most vunerable. Why are so called disabled-people who can walk around the town-being given FREE £20,000 "disability cars" every three years. In particular cars made outside the EU(Korean). We don't want to go back to the old 3 wheelers. Hard working families-if they have a car use old bangers. Shrubendlad
  • Score: 1

5:33pm Sat 16 Aug 14

jut1972 says...

Shrubendlad wrote:
If the political parties want to cut something in this country-look at the massive WELFARE budget-no not cuts on the most vunerable.
Why are so called disabled-people who can walk around the town-being given FREE £20,000 "disability cars" every three years. In particular cars made outside the EU(Korean).
We don't want to go back to the old 3 wheelers. Hard working families-if they have a car use old bangers.
Yay! Bash the so called disabled!
That didn't take long before an ill informed bigot appeared!
Congratulations!
[quote][p][bold]Shrubendlad[/bold] wrote: If the political parties want to cut something in this country-look at the massive WELFARE budget-no not cuts on the most vunerable. Why are so called disabled-people who can walk around the town-being given FREE £20,000 "disability cars" every three years. In particular cars made outside the EU(Korean). We don't want to go back to the old 3 wheelers. Hard working families-if they have a car use old bangers.[/p][/quote]Yay! Bash the so called disabled! That didn't take long before an ill informed bigot appeared! Congratulations! jut1972
  • Score: 9

6:39pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Shrubendlad says...

jut1972 wrote:
Shrubendlad wrote:
If the political parties want to cut something in this country-look at the massive WELFARE budget-no not cuts on the most vunerable.
Why are so called disabled-people who can walk around the town-being given FREE £20,000 "disability cars" every three years. In particular cars made outside the EU(Korean).
We don't want to go back to the old 3 wheelers. Hard working families-if they have a car use old bangers.
Yay! Bash the so called disabled!
That didn't take long before an ill informed bigot appeared!
Congratulations!
Have we caught one?-or have you not read the script?
A genuinely disabled person using a modest disabled car for their own purposes-no problem!!
[quote][p][bold]jut1972[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Shrubendlad[/bold] wrote: If the political parties want to cut something in this country-look at the massive WELFARE budget-no not cuts on the most vunerable. Why are so called disabled-people who can walk around the town-being given FREE £20,000 "disability cars" every three years. In particular cars made outside the EU(Korean). We don't want to go back to the old 3 wheelers. Hard working families-if they have a car use old bangers.[/p][/quote]Yay! Bash the so called disabled! That didn't take long before an ill informed bigot appeared! Congratulations![/p][/quote]Have we caught one?-or have you not read the script? A genuinely disabled person using a modest disabled car for their own purposes-no problem!! Shrubendlad
  • Score: -4

10:21pm Sat 16 Aug 14

Hamiltonandy says...

Colchester Council could raise significant revenue by short term lets of empty commercial properties. The "cultural quarter" buildings are the most visible but the council owns other buildings. It would be financially helpful if the council stopped giving land away to developers for vague promises of some future benefit. The latest example was the five acres of allegedly polluted land in the Hythe.
.
It is a pity Colchester Council is so obstructive to change. I suggested a charitable mobility scooter service at the bus station - original one and the new one. The council just turned it down flat. That meant some disabled people would shop out of town because town centre access was difficult.
Colchester Council could raise significant revenue by short term lets of empty commercial properties. The "cultural quarter" buildings are the most visible but the council owns other buildings. It would be financially helpful if the council stopped giving land away to developers for vague promises of some future benefit. The latest example was the five acres of allegedly polluted land in the Hythe. . It is a pity Colchester Council is so obstructive to change. I suggested a charitable mobility scooter service at the bus station - original one and the new one. The council just turned it down flat. That meant some disabled people would shop out of town because town centre access was difficult. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 5

9:39am Sun 17 Aug 14

Shrubendlad says...

Hamiltonandy wrote:
Colchester Council could raise significant revenue by short term lets of empty commercial properties. The "cultural quarter" buildings are the most visible but the council owns other buildings. It would be financially helpful if the council stopped giving land away to developers for vague promises of some future benefit. The latest example was the five acres of allegedly polluted land in the Hythe.
.
It is a pity Colchester Council is so obstructive to change. I suggested a charitable mobility scooter service at the bus station - original one and the new one. The council just turned it down flat. That meant some disabled people would shop out of town because town centre access was difficult.
Andy- Ive lived and worked around the country-Ive never come across this level of council" ownership" or poor management in a city or town comparable to Colchester.
I have respect for decent LibDems like Martin Hunt-but their obsession with the Yellow Clown and their failure to find a younger candidate means that Will Quince has my full support next May in my home town.
Your suggestion about mobility scooters would have gone down well! The Yellow Clown has been waging a war on the scooter "menace"(his words) for a decade.
I am a huge supporter of the Health Service and believe it should be free and open to all. I believe the genuine Disabled should be protected by a civilised society. BUT the Welfare budget is abused-not by Illegals-but large sections of are own citizens-across all classes of society.
[quote][p][bold]Hamiltonandy[/bold] wrote: Colchester Council could raise significant revenue by short term lets of empty commercial properties. The "cultural quarter" buildings are the most visible but the council owns other buildings. It would be financially helpful if the council stopped giving land away to developers for vague promises of some future benefit. The latest example was the five acres of allegedly polluted land in the Hythe. . It is a pity Colchester Council is so obstructive to change. I suggested a charitable mobility scooter service at the bus station - original one and the new one. The council just turned it down flat. That meant some disabled people would shop out of town because town centre access was difficult.[/p][/quote]Andy- Ive lived and worked around the country-Ive never come across this level of council" ownership" or poor management in a city or town comparable to Colchester. I have respect for decent LibDems like Martin Hunt-but their obsession with the Yellow Clown and their failure to find a younger candidate means that Will Quince has my full support next May in my home town. Your suggestion about mobility scooters would have gone down well! The Yellow Clown has been waging a war on the scooter "menace"(his words) for a decade. I am a huge supporter of the Health Service and believe it should be free and open to all. I believe the genuine Disabled should be protected by a civilised society. BUT the Welfare budget is abused-not by Illegals-but large sections of are own citizens-across all classes of society. Shrubendlad
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Sun 17 Aug 14

Shambolic says...

Don't forget, the banks got us into this situation, not the Disabled.
Don't forget, the banks got us into this situation, not the Disabled. Shambolic
  • Score: 7

1:19pm Mon 18 Aug 14

julieee says...

Hamiltonandy wrote:
Colchester Council could raise significant revenue by short term lets of empty commercial properties. The "cultural quarter" buildings are the most visible but the council owns other buildings. It would be financially helpful if the council stopped giving land away to developers for vague promises of some future benefit. The latest example was the five acres of allegedly polluted land in the Hythe.
.
It is a pity Colchester Council is so obstructive to change. I suggested a charitable mobility scooter service at the bus station - original one and the new one. The council just turned it down flat. That meant some disabled people would shop out of town because town centre access was difficult.
like they do down the road in Southend?
http://www.southend.
gov.uk/info/200351/t
he_tickfield_centre
money earning doesn't seem to occur to CBC although I trust the Anglia Uni bus parked in the No Parking spot outside the town hall paid for it's pitch?
Incidentally why are no parking spaces dependent on council whim? Surely there's a safety issue that dictates their status and that doesn't change?
[quote][p][bold]Hamiltonandy[/bold] wrote: Colchester Council could raise significant revenue by short term lets of empty commercial properties. The "cultural quarter" buildings are the most visible but the council owns other buildings. It would be financially helpful if the council stopped giving land away to developers for vague promises of some future benefit. The latest example was the five acres of allegedly polluted land in the Hythe. . It is a pity Colchester Council is so obstructive to change. I suggested a charitable mobility scooter service at the bus station - original one and the new one. The council just turned it down flat. That meant some disabled people would shop out of town because town centre access was difficult.[/p][/quote]like they do down the road in Southend? http://www.southend. gov.uk/info/200351/t he_tickfield_centre money earning doesn't seem to occur to CBC although I trust the Anglia Uni bus parked in the No Parking spot outside the town hall paid for it's pitch? Incidentally why are no parking spaces dependent on council whim? Surely there's a safety issue that dictates their status and that doesn't change? julieee
  • Score: 1

1:28pm Mon 18 Aug 14

Jess Jephcott says...

Erm. It was not the banks that got us into this situation, it was the last government. Let's have a bit of accuracy here please. The banks did what the last government allowed them to do. Now we are paying the price. Only **** fools would vote for them again.
Erm. It was not the banks that got us into this situation, it was the last government. Let's have a bit of accuracy here please. The banks did what the last government allowed them to do. Now we are paying the price. Only **** fools would vote for them again. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: -6

5:29pm Mon 18 Aug 14

stevedawson says...

No jess the last government did not get us into the mess your mr osbourne is claiming the worst is over.the plain fact was personal greed, living way beyond their means did the damage.the last gov and all the parties allowed the free for all, when everyone was wallowing at the trough it would have been political suicide to call a stop.suicide happened anyway but the hope was it wouldn't.if you think we have problems go and live in gaza, iraq,syria or Egypt sudan Sierra leon.
No jess the last government did not get us into the mess your mr osbourne is claiming the worst is over.the plain fact was personal greed, living way beyond their means did the damage.the last gov and all the parties allowed the free for all, when everyone was wallowing at the trough it would have been political suicide to call a stop.suicide happened anyway but the hope was it wouldn't.if you think we have problems go and live in gaza, iraq,syria or Egypt sudan Sierra leon. stevedawson
  • Score: 11

7:36am Tue 19 Aug 14

Hiker54 says...

Here we ago again, Council moaning about lack of money! Councillors should undertake their work on a voluntary basis for starters, Council Tax should be collected, and far greater use made of the voluntary sector. With the amount of recycling done, the sharing of backroom services with others, and savings made to date there should be no problem on tweaking out further reductions in the Council's expenditure. Focus on statutory duties first, then improving Colchester's town centre. Queen St / High St is now extremely tardy. Other towns have pedestrianized areas with good access by road and bus to these, so time we got into the 21st century.
Here we ago again, Council moaning about lack of money! Councillors should undertake their work on a voluntary basis for starters, Council Tax should be collected, and far greater use made of the voluntary sector. With the amount of recycling done, the sharing of backroom services with others, and savings made to date there should be no problem on tweaking out further reductions in the Council's expenditure. Focus on statutory duties first, then improving Colchester's town centre. Queen St / High St is now extremely tardy. Other towns have pedestrianized areas with good access by road and bus to these, so time we got into the 21st century. Hiker54
  • Score: 0

12:11pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Checkout says...

Cut the number of directors and heads of service employed by the council. To save money, don't make them redundant, just don't replace them when they move on. Share the essential parts of their work among those senior staff left. Dump all non essential elements of their tasks following an audit of all staff responsibilities.
Privatize all non core services, ensure that all remaining council employees are directly employed and not using tax avoidance schemes. Employ local people wherever possible unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Cut the number of Councillors to one per ward and increase ward sizes to the same as those for ECC elections.
Hold all council and committee meetings in public so that all decisions taken are open and seen to be above board.
Become a unitary authority and have a directly elected executive mayor.
Andy Hamilton usually has some good ideas, appoint him as an executive alderman to advise CBC or elect him mayor (sorry Andy).
Cut the number of directors and heads of service employed by the council. To save money, don't make them redundant, just don't replace them when they move on. Share the essential parts of their work among those senior staff left. Dump all non essential elements of their tasks following an audit of all staff responsibilities. Privatize all non core services, ensure that all remaining council employees are directly employed and not using tax avoidance schemes. Employ local people wherever possible unless there are extenuating circumstances. Cut the number of Councillors to one per ward and increase ward sizes to the same as those for ECC elections. Hold all council and committee meetings in public so that all decisions taken are open and seen to be above board. Become a unitary authority and have a directly elected executive mayor. Andy Hamilton usually has some good ideas, appoint him as an executive alderman to advise CBC or elect him mayor (sorry Andy). Checkout
  • Score: 9

5:12pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Jess Jephcott says...

I hate to admit it but I think the point about Andy Hamilton is fair comment. Love him or hate him, he talks a lot of sense and is very vocal. Checkout makes some other excellent points too.
I hate to admit it but I think the point about Andy Hamilton is fair comment. Love him or hate him, he talks a lot of sense and is very vocal. Checkout makes some other excellent points too. Jess Jephcott
  • Score: 3

12:15am Wed 20 Aug 14

Hamiltonandy says...

It is much harder being a councillor than objecting/supporting one issue. Councillors have to take an interest in a variety of council matters and yet cannot publicly comment before the relevant council meeting.
.
If only there was no political party nonsense and if only the council would permit reasoned discussion to bring out the facts on an issue. Instead objectors to a policy find closed minds so are forced to become protestors. Unfortunately for the council, they have upset quite a few over the "cultural quarter" delusion and the result is derelict abandoned buildings no developer will touch.
.
Perhaps one day the council will turn round and ask objectors to a policy/development what they would suggest as a practical and financially viable alternative. It would be great to work constructively but I accept it will never happen.
It is much harder being a councillor than objecting/supporting one issue. Councillors have to take an interest in a variety of council matters and yet cannot publicly comment before the relevant council meeting. . If only there was no political party nonsense and if only the council would permit reasoned discussion to bring out the facts on an issue. Instead objectors to a policy find closed minds so are forced to become protestors. Unfortunately for the council, they have upset quite a few over the "cultural quarter" delusion and the result is derelict abandoned buildings no developer will touch. . Perhaps one day the council will turn round and ask objectors to a policy/development what they would suggest as a practical and financially viable alternative. It would be great to work constructively but I accept it will never happen. Hamiltonandy
  • Score: 3

5:34am Wed 20 Aug 14

TheBrotherhoodOfTheBell says...

Checkout wrote:
Cut the number of directors and heads of service employed by the council. To save money, don't make them redundant, just don't replace them when they move on. Share the essential parts of their work among those senior staff left. Dump all non essential elements of their tasks following an audit of all staff responsibilities.
Privatize all non core services, ensure that all remaining council employees are directly employed and not using tax avoidance schemes. Employ local people wherever possible unless there are extenuating circumstances.
Cut the number of Councillors to one per ward and increase ward sizes to the same as those for ECC elections.
Hold all council and committee meetings in public so that all decisions taken are open and seen to be above board.
Become a unitary authority and have a directly elected executive mayor.
Andy Hamilton usually has some good ideas, appoint him as an executive alderman to advise CBC or elect him mayor (sorry Andy).
I find the above quote very interesting especially the bit quote>>>>
::Ensure that all remaining council employees are directly employed and not using tax avoidance schemes:: Un Quote
Can anyone tell me why a Part Time Trust Chairperson is running a Private Management Company registered with Companies House that has ?
1. BT Land line Number that does not work ?
2. Mobile Telephone number that does not work ?
3 Email address that sends out status failure notification returns protocols ?
The home address is the location of the business.

I have found two incidences of this.
[quote][p][bold]Checkout[/bold] wrote: Cut the number of directors and heads of service employed by the council. To save money, don't make them redundant, just don't replace them when they move on. Share the essential parts of their work among those senior staff left. Dump all non essential elements of their tasks following an audit of all staff responsibilities. Privatize all non core services, ensure that all remaining council employees are directly employed and not using tax avoidance schemes. Employ local people wherever possible unless there are extenuating circumstances. Cut the number of Councillors to one per ward and increase ward sizes to the same as those for ECC elections. Hold all council and committee meetings in public so that all decisions taken are open and seen to be above board. Become a unitary authority and have a directly elected executive mayor. Andy Hamilton usually has some good ideas, appoint him as an executive alderman to advise CBC or elect him mayor (sorry Andy).[/p][/quote]I find the above quote very interesting especially the bit quote>>>> ::Ensure that all remaining council employees are directly employed and not using tax avoidance schemes:: Un Quote Can anyone tell me why a Part Time Trust Chairperson is running a Private Management Company registered with Companies House that has ? 1. BT Land line Number that does not work ? 2. Mobile Telephone number that does not work ? 3 Email address that sends out status failure notification returns protocols ? The home address is the location of the business. I have found two incidences of this. TheBrotherhoodOfTheBell
  • Score: 3

1:30pm Wed 20 Aug 14

wardyt says...

Shambolic wrote:
Don't forget, the banks got us into this situation, not the Disabled.
It was Labour actually.
[quote][p][bold]Shambolic[/bold] wrote: Don't forget, the banks got us into this situation, not the Disabled.[/p][/quote]It was Labour actually. wardyt
  • Score: -3

10:15am Fri 22 Aug 14

cynicalsubber says...

Shrubendlad, you said, 'I am a huge supporter of the Health Service and believe it should be free and open to all', and yet you're planning to vote Tory? It's called 'cognitive dissonance'.
Shrubendlad, you said, 'I am a huge supporter of the Health Service and believe it should be free and open to all', and yet you're planning to vote Tory? It's called 'cognitive dissonance'. cynicalsubber
  • Score: 0

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