Hounslow Council Outline Budget Plans
But Conservatives say surplus should be in residents' pockets
Hounslow Council’s budget surplus is money that should be in the pockets of residents not the Council according to a local Conservative councillor.
Cllr Peter Thompson, who is leader of the conservative grouping on Hounslow Council, said that while he welcomed many of the savings and efficiencies planned, the Labour Council had managed to increase their money in reserves by overtaxing and then expected people to be grateful.
Hounslow Council has announced that it will invest over £1.5 million in services and is on course to meet its savings targets.
The budget plans for savings and investment will be discussed by the council’s cabinet next week. The Council says its plans demonstrate a commitment to protecting front line services.
A Council statement said ; “Savings proposals of almost £9 million complete the picture, with a further £3 million of savings still to be identified. The savings come from finding efficiencies at the same time as maintaining services to residents”.
Councillor Thompson commented; "Many of the planned savings and efficiencies follow on from the transformation of the Council started under the previous administration and are therefore to be welcomed. I am also delighted that Cllr Sharma has acknowledged that it is indeed possible for a council to do more with less by sharing services with other councils and introducing new and better ways of working."
"However the most interesting part of the proposed budget savings is the £4m of savings that is the result of inflation being lower than the Council had planned for! In other words they are putting back into the pot £4 millon that they have overtaxed us for and then they expect us to be grateful. Despite the constant moaning about what a bad deal Hounslow is getting from the Government, this Labour Council has managed to increase the money they have in reserves - money should be in the pocket of residents, not the council."
Leader of the council, Cllr Jagdish Sharma, said: “We are working hard to make sure we’re protecting the services that local people depend on.
“The council is becoming more efficient through transforming services, focusing on partnership working and getting better value from our contracts.
“At the same time we are investing in the areas which matter most to families, businesses and ordinary people, so there will be more money for regenerating our towns and also for keeping children safe.
The investments being discussed include £150,000 funding for additional officers to support child protection cases, and £100,000 to protect frontline social services from the impact of cuts in grants.
There is also £857,000 earmarked to help deliver the next phase of Hounslow Town Centre redevelopment, and prepare plans to regenerate Feltham Arenas.
October 31, 2012