A balanced budget
It was a shame that more members of the public weren't at last Thursday's full council meeting at Mendip District Council.
It was also a shame that more of the Liberal Democrats weren't present. Perhaps if they were, they would have come up with something of greater substance for an alternative budget proposal than the ill thought-out three bullet point suggestions they thought would suffice.
As we are all aware, finances are tight everywhere, but yet again Mendip have a balanced budget and continue to provide the services we have, as an authority, to provide to our residents. On top of this we have opted not to increase our portion of the council tax (as indeed did the county council on the same day).
Imagine our surprise then, when the opposing Liberals presented their 'alternative budget'.
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I say this tongue in cheek, as it wasn't an alternative at all, merely three suggestions plucked from the ether for us to throw an extra £200,000 at. To put this in to perspective, this represents a 4% increase on the Mendip portion of council tax.
Not only was there no justification or reasoning behind the proposal, merely that it would help or be nice to have, but there was also no indication of just how it would help in financial terms. It was so hurredly put together, that even 'back of a fag packet' calculations suggested it would actually cost us much more than the figure they suggested.
The most horrifying proposal was that this extra money be taken out of reserves. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm not particularly in favour of frittering money away or selling the family silver when things get tight, and it is our reserves and fiscal prudence which have kept us on a sound financial footing with no borrowings or debts.
So to see this suggestion on paper demonstrates perfectly what a complete shambles the Liberals are in at Mendip.
Mendip district councillor for Croscombe and Pilton