A budget review

I WAS only going to post one more blog but then Cllr Woodley dropped his bombshell so i shall blog on that later.

The first thing to say was that the company streaming it live as a webcast well and truly failed tonight, we missed the important part of the vote as apparently the meeting had concluded before the vote was taken!!

Anyway my thoughts on the budget itself. I am not as concerned about the bins as the chamber seemed tonight and thought that until 3/4 of the way in they missed the important part of the budget which was the cut to Queensway House. This is preposterous and cutting mental health provision at a time when the number of those suffering from mental health issues is rising is appalling. I was a little more reassured by Cllr Norman’s reply but it is certainly something to keep an eye on.

I disagree with the rise on pier entry but if Cllr Woodley is correct then this will be offset by his offer. Although you would now have to ask how much income this will now bring in. I think it is ridiculous that Southend residents pay twice, once in taxes and then to use the pier itself.

I also strongly disagree with parking fare rises. The biggest reason people give for not using our town centre is the parking charges, so how is increasing this going to help boost our economy? I have thought for a long term that we should expand the parking facilities around Southend East or Thorpe Bay and the same around Chalkwell or Westcliff and introduce a park and ride scheme, less traffic around the town, calmer journeys, more car parking spaces available. We have a train line which runs in a straight line with so many stations that it is silly not to.

Also the fact that Cllr Waterworth missed the vote to go home is not behaviour i would expect a PPC but given their performance in Europe is exactly what i would expect from UKIP!

However as I said earlier, the majority of the budget is fair and it is good that libraries etc are saved. If i was a councillor i would have had to vote against it purely on the mental health issue alone which is a pity as the rest of the budget is decent.


The fox returns

Hi all,

Here are my thoughts on the budget. This will be a two part blog, one about the budget in general and one about what I would like to have seen happen.

I had planned to watch the budget this evening and indeed still can watch it but unfortunately there is no sound on the council webcast and so whilst I could not attend the Civic centre due to work commitments, it now looks like I can’t hear it either, this is extremely disappointing.

I was looking forward to seeing Cllr Gilbert vote down his own budget! He did say after all last year that the main reason he couldnt support the Conservative Budget was because he would never support any budget with job cuts in it – maybe he hasn’t noticed the 21 jobs going this year!!

In all honesty, it is on the whole a fairly good budget. I am pleased to see services saved and I fully expected a tax rise this year as Labour always raise tax as a form of income. I do laugh, however when i see Labour try to claim credit for saving care homes!! It was a cross party suggestion to axe them in the first place chaired by one of their very own members!!

I do disagree however in the attacks on Cllr Norman and claims that he is hypocritical. Things change and new facts come to light and when they do, it is only right that politicians are flexible enough to react to these and rather than pillory him I feel he is to be applauded for taking the correct decisions at the correct times.

There are aspects that I disagree with the budget and I feel there are some missed opportunities (not as much as there was a missing councillor on the most important event of the council year!) but on the whole it is a fair budget.

BREAKING NEWS my evening has suddenly improved as the sound has suddenly switched on!!!