Somerset County Council budget details released

Somerset County Gazette: Council leader John Osman. Council leader John Osman.

SOMERSET County Council has today (January 23) announced some details of its "very difficult" budget for the next financial year.

Among the proposals are reducing bureaucracy in the county council, but it is not yet clear what this entails.

Leader John Osman said: "It is extremely difficult and challenging when our income goes down. These are very tough times for all councils across the country, it is no different in Somerset."

After the Government’s cut of £20million in funding, the council still needs to find this saving from its budget.

The draft budget proposals will be discussed by cabinet members at their next meeting in February.

The proposals will see services reorganised and in some areas modernised to bring significant efficiencies and savings.

Among the highlights of the council's spending plans are a freeze on council tax, the protection of youth services and libraries and extra funding to revamp damaged roads.

Cllr Osman added: "We have protected some areas for the coming year, like youth services, libraries, and school crossing patrol officers.

"We will continue with our priorities, to care for people who need it, and to deliver all our services with the best possible value for money.”

Comments (9)

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9:01am Wed 23 Jan 13

cerdicboy says...

We now have the perfect storm for the Tory cuts, following the disaster of Southwest One and the Icelandic banking mess delivered under the previous Liberal Democrat leadership.
The big news today will be David Cameron's EU debate speech which will rumble on r months and provide a perfect opportunity to introduce more austerity for the people of Somerset.
Of course there will be more opportunities for local businesses as more and more public services are privatised in the race to the bottom of the living wage. The people of Somerset do not deserve this and people must vote with the conscience come the county council elections in May. I has both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives parties merge into one!
We now have the perfect storm for the Tory cuts, following the disaster of Southwest One and the Icelandic banking mess delivered under the previous Liberal Democrat leadership. The big news today will be David Cameron's EU debate speech which will rumble on r months and provide a perfect opportunity to introduce more austerity for the people of Somerset. Of course there will be more opportunities for local businesses as more and more public services are privatised in the race to the bottom of the living wage. The people of Somerset do not deserve this and people must vote with the conscience come the county council elections in May. I has both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives parties merge into one! cerdicboy

10:28am Wed 23 Jan 13

Blue Owl says...

The problem with Polotics is that we all on the outside, think we can solve the difficult decisions, better than the Elected Cllr's, in a minority of cases that is true, however, when as a Councillor you are faced with the stark realities of having to make year on year savings, across a great number of Services, it becomes a situation that some services, somewhere will need to be trimmed, to provide more funding for,other essential services provided, of coarse all Cllr's would prefer there to be no cut's.
But in this real world, of having to account and payback the Billions of £ in interest, as well as the Capital Borrowing that Labour left our Country in at the last Election, there has been a 3% Saving year on Year, on top of diminishing Funding from Central Government over the last 10 years to Rural Districts and Councils like Sedgemoor & Somerset.
The analogy, is like watching a Football Match, every spectator, can see and comment on the Game, but its the Referee that has the Responsibility. But of course, he's wrong, whatever decision he ops or she takes.( almost forgot u have to be PC )
So, it is difficult situation, all I ask for is Facts, clarity, non gobble good, transparency, and above all Accountability.
When one as a citezen asks for information you receive it, not passed from pillar to post, as a Councillor, you are Elected to Serve, as An Employee of a Council or an Officer you are employed, on good Salaries and Pension rights, so you should do what you are Paid to do, Communicate!!
Regards Blue -Owl
Ex District Cllr SDC -BTC.
The problem with Polotics is that we all on the outside, think we can solve the difficult decisions, better than the Elected Cllr's, in a minority of cases that is true, however, when as a Councillor you are faced with the stark realities of having to make year on year savings, across a great number of Services, it becomes a situation that some services, somewhere will need to be trimmed, to provide more funding for,other essential services provided, of coarse all Cllr's would prefer there to be no cut's. But in this real world, of having to account and payback the Billions of £ in interest, as well as the Capital Borrowing that Labour left our Country in at the last Election, there has been a 3% Saving year on Year, on top of diminishing Funding from Central Government over the last 10 years to Rural Districts and Councils like Sedgemoor & Somerset. The analogy, is like watching a Football Match, every spectator, can see and comment on the Game, but its the Referee that has the Responsibility. But of course, he's wrong, whatever decision he ops or she takes.( almost forgot u have to be PC ) So, it is difficult situation, all I ask for is Facts, clarity, non gobble good, transparency, and above all Accountability. When one as a citezen asks for information you receive it, not passed from pillar to post, as a Councillor, you are Elected to Serve, as An Employee of a Council or an Officer you are employed, on good Salaries and Pension rights, so you should do what you are Paid to do, Communicate!! Regards Blue -Owl Ex District Cllr SDC -BTC. Blue Owl

2:08pm Wed 23 Jan 13

Hugo101 says...

If we believe Blue Owl, then Labour is a cause of the County overspend, even though it has never run the County Council. The bankers are blameless in the financial mess we are in today. They did not fix interest rate nor did they gamble on the sub-prime mortgage market. They just traded in all the assets going and we are left with foreign multi-nationals running a majority of our infrastructure services; gas, electricity and water.
Should Hinckley Points new nuclear power station proceed it will be undertaken by a French company, EDF.
They are winners and losers and the people with money are the winners as investment money in sank into these high profit, low wages and conditions companies.
But to return to Somerset County Council cuts, I suspect that Blue Owl is saying that these cuts are required because of the platinum plated pensions that teachers, highway workers and other council workers have. They are over paid and underworked.
Perhaps Blue Owl would like to see these services being offered out to tender and the staff moved to lower wages and of course lower pensions, with higher dividends for the few!
This will affect us all today and our children and grand children for decades to come as the workplace becomes a place of fear and intimidation as people fight each other for jobs.
If we believe Blue Owl, then Labour is a cause of the County overspend, even though it has never run the County Council. The bankers are blameless in the financial mess we are in today. They did not fix interest rate nor did they gamble on the sub-prime mortgage market. They just traded in all the assets going and we are left with foreign multi-nationals running a majority of our infrastructure services; gas, electricity and water. Should Hinckley Points new nuclear power station proceed it will be undertaken by a French company, EDF. They are winners and losers and the people with money are the winners as investment money in sank into these high profit, low wages and conditions companies. But to return to Somerset County Council cuts, I suspect that Blue Owl is saying that these cuts are required because of the platinum plated pensions that teachers, highway workers and other council workers have. They are over paid and underworked. Perhaps Blue Owl would like to see these services being offered out to tender and the staff moved to lower wages and of course lower pensions, with higher dividends for the few! This will affect us all today and our children and grand children for decades to come as the workplace becomes a place of fear and intimidation as people fight each other for jobs. Hugo101

5:03pm Wed 23 Jan 13

cerdicboy says...

Of course if we collected the £70B lost by to the Tax Man in those companies that are avoiding paying tax and closed the loop holes that wealthy people use regarding off-shore investments then the depth of cuts could be more fairly managed.
But no we hit ordinary people in average paid jobs the hardest. Teachers, nurses, council workers all must pay for the mistakes of the bankers.
Of course if we collected the £70B lost by to the Tax Man in those companies that are avoiding paying tax and closed the loop holes that wealthy people use regarding off-shore investments then the depth of cuts could be more fairly managed. But no we hit ordinary people in average paid jobs the hardest. Teachers, nurses, council workers all must pay for the mistakes of the bankers. cerdicboy

6:23pm Wed 23 Jan 13

the voice of common sense says...

The self-employed are the latest target, if you don,t keep perfect records or fill in any of their forms on time then you are in trouble.

Forget the multi millionaire tax dodgers, they are too hard a target, instead go for the local plumber or carpenter who does a job for cash now and again, he's a target well worth going for to send a message of fear to hard working people, not the major tax dodgers like newspaper owners, arms dealers like BAE, EDS and multi-national companies who send money all round the world through places like Guernsey, The British Virgin Isles etc to avoid paying tax.

The previous administration at county hall were pretty poor, but this mob are worse, they don't have a conscience.

One of the first cuts to be made will be the Colley Lane relief road, I expect that there will be more problems purchasing the land.
The self-employed are the latest target, if you don,t keep perfect records or fill in any of their forms on time then you are in trouble. Forget the multi millionaire tax dodgers, they are too hard a target, instead go for the local plumber or carpenter who does a job for cash now and again, he's a target well worth going for to send a message of fear to hard working people, not the major tax dodgers like newspaper owners, arms dealers like BAE, EDS and multi-national companies who send money all round the world through places like Guernsey, The British Virgin Isles etc to avoid paying tax. The previous administration at county hall were pretty poor, but this mob are worse, they don't have a conscience. One of the first cuts to be made will be the Colley Lane relief road, I expect that there will be more problems purchasing the land. the voice of common sense

7:47pm Wed 23 Jan 13

chasm says...

According to Secretary of State for Local Communities, Council Tax is used for a variety of SERVICES which benefit the Local Community(Refuse Collections. Schools. Libriaries. Street Cleaning etc).
I am still trying to work out how using a percentage of Council Tax as contibutions to these Public Sector Parasites pensions is a SERVICE which benefits the Local Community.
Can any of the readers tell me
According to Secretary of State for Local Communities, Council Tax is used for a variety of SERVICES which benefit the Local Community(Refuse Collections. Schools. Libriaries. Street Cleaning etc). I am still trying to work out how using a percentage of Council Tax as contibutions to these Public Sector Parasites pensions is a SERVICE which benefits the Local Community. Can any of the readers tell me chasm

10:44pm Wed 23 Jan 13

jimeee says...

There is gonna be worse for years to come after the pigs ear the last council left it in. they reckon it cud be beyond our lifetime before its straight agen
There is gonna be worse for years to come after the pigs ear the last council left it in. they reckon it cud be beyond our lifetime before its straight agen jimeee

12:40pm Fri 25 Jan 13

topcataj says...

Hugo101 wrote:
If we believe Blue Owl, then Labour is a cause of the County overspend, even though it has never run the County Council. The bankers are blameless in the financial mess we are in today. They did not fix interest rate nor did they gamble on the sub-prime mortgage market. They just traded in all the assets going and we are left with foreign multi-nationals running a majority of our infrastructure services; gas, electricity and water.
Should Hinckley Points new nuclear power station proceed it will be undertaken by a French company, EDF.
They are winners and losers and the people with money are the winners as investment money in sank into these high profit, low wages and conditions companies.
But to return to Somerset County Council cuts, I suspect that Blue Owl is saying that these cuts are required because of the platinum plated pensions that teachers, highway workers and other council workers have. They are over paid and underworked.
Perhaps Blue Owl would like to see these services being offered out to tender and the staff moved to lower wages and of course lower pensions, with higher dividends for the few!
This will affect us all today and our children and grand children for decades to come as the workplace becomes a place of fear and intimidation as people fight each other for jobs.
Hugo101 said "these cuts are required because of the platinum plated pensions that teachers, highway workers and other council workers have. They are over paid and underworked."

You might have a point if it were in any way true. Local Gov pensions may be fairly good, but hardly platinum plated. To single out highway workers and say they are underworked after they've been out gritting roads at 4am, apparently patrolling roads in the mean time, then gritting again in the afternoon, seems a little unfair....

Chasm, I don't see a problem with staff having a pension. That's probelm with needing staff, they expect to be paid and stuff...
[quote][p][bold]Hugo101[/bold] wrote: If we believe Blue Owl, then Labour is a cause of the County overspend, even though it has never run the County Council. The bankers are blameless in the financial mess we are in today. They did not fix interest rate nor did they gamble on the sub-prime mortgage market. They just traded in all the assets going and we are left with foreign multi-nationals running a majority of our infrastructure services; gas, electricity and water. Should Hinckley Points new nuclear power station proceed it will be undertaken by a French company, EDF. They are winners and losers and the people with money are the winners as investment money in sank into these high profit, low wages and conditions companies. But to return to Somerset County Council cuts, I suspect that Blue Owl is saying that these cuts are required because of the platinum plated pensions that teachers, highway workers and other council workers have. They are over paid and underworked. Perhaps Blue Owl would like to see these services being offered out to tender and the staff moved to lower wages and of course lower pensions, with higher dividends for the few! This will affect us all today and our children and grand children for decades to come as the workplace becomes a place of fear and intimidation as people fight each other for jobs.[/p][/quote]Hugo101 said "these cuts are required because of the platinum plated pensions that teachers, highway workers and other council workers have. They are over paid and underworked." You might have a point if it were in any way true. Local Gov pensions may be fairly good, but hardly platinum plated. To single out highway workers and say they are underworked after they've been out gritting roads at 4am, apparently patrolling roads in the mean time, then gritting again in the afternoon, seems a little unfair.... Chasm, I don't see a problem with staff having a pension. That's probelm with needing staff, they expect to be paid and stuff... topcataj

8:28am Sat 26 Jan 13

tonysays says...

Wait, I'm confused - Didn't the Chief Executive of Somerset County Council employ, for over a year, a series of consultants who each received £1000 a day to save us from this financial disaster? Could it be, and I can hardly believe this as I write it, that we're still in a financial pickle despite their sterling, selfless work?
Wait, I'm confused - Didn't the Chief Executive of Somerset County Council employ, for over a year, a series of consultants who each received £1000 a day to save us from this financial disaster? Could it be, and I can hardly believe this as I write it, that we're still in a financial pickle despite their sterling, selfless work? tonysays

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