Alternative Recommendations to Financial Strategies and Medium Term plan 2016/6

The Ipswich Conservative group will be putting forward an alternative to the Labour administrations budget at the full council next Wednesday 25th February, that would enable a freeze on the council tax for the forthcoming year 2015-2016.

We believe that it is in the interests of the residents to reduce their outgoings whilst the country is recovering, by removing unnecessary costs that do not affect front line services and also to take advantage of the grant that the government is giving for any council that freezes or reduces it’s bill.

In summary, we would find the savings in this first year with the following:

Reduce Ipswich Angle to two editions (each year)           £51,000
Reduce Area Committee Funding by £2,500 per ward      £40,000
Remove allowances paid to Area Committee Chairmen   £  9,400

 And save -for accepting

Council Tax Freeze Grant                                                            £  136,000

We believe that 2 editions a year is more than enough to convey the main news of the council, alongside the various other excellent media we have like the Ipswich Star, IBC website and social media platforms.

We note that area committees are failing to spend substantial amounts from the funds allocated to each of the wards and it would not be noticeable to reduce it by this small amount.

We think it is wrong that councillors are paid £ 3,760 per annum to chair 5 area committee meetings per year. However this requires a separate decision by council so we have allowed for a half year saving this time round.

We also understand the knock on effect for the next 2 years by freezing the tax, but we are prepared with further ideas on saving money, notwithstanding the fact that after the 3 years there will be a £4.6 million reserve pot, of which £ 2million represents the normal ‘buffer’ for best practice and £1.6million is not earmarked for anything.