Response to budget

February 26, 2009 8:43 PM

Finance Convener criticises SNP opposition over budgetLiberal Democrat leader Cllr David Kendall expressed serious concerns about the state of Brentwood Borough Council's finances at last nights budget setting meeting.

During the debate he highlighted the fact that back in 1990 the previous Conservative administration was holding £17 million in reserves compared to a figure of just over £2 million today. Commenting afterwards he said:

"Whilst we supported the Leader's proposals to reduce allowances given to councillors for the next financial year in an effort to keep the Council tax down, we were unable to support the overall budget because it failed to address a number of serious issues.

"Our call to freeze charges for car parking, biodegradable sacks and green waste bins was rejected out of hand and our call to scrap the proposed pest control charge for pensioners and residents on means tested benefit was also dismissed by the Tories.

"We believe the Conservatives' failure to listen to the serious concerns expressed by residents and the business community about increasing car parking charges is a big mistake and will come back to haunt them.

"A headline grabbing 1.89% council tax increase cannot hide the fact that serious increases in charges and possible cuts in services are going to have to be considered for the years ahead to try and balance the books.

Cllr David Kendall asked for a freeze on car parking charges

Cllr David Kendall asked for a freeze on car parking charges

"Our residents were looking to the Council for more help during these difficult economic times and this budget fails to address many of their genuine concerns".