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PRESS RELEASE: Lib Dems say: Council Budget surplus needs to be shared with Communities in Leicestershire

June 9, 2011 11:51 AM

Leicestershire Liberal Democrats are proposing that the benefits of a projected surplus on the Council's Budget for 2010/11 should be used to protect vital community services. A report to the Councils Cabinet on the 14th June projects a budget surplus of £5.89m.

Lib Dem Finance spokesman Keith Lynch CC said: "Before the Tories allow officers to transfer another £5.89m to reserves. I think that the time is appropriate to look at what we could do for local people with this money."

He added: "This money wont save every service or every job, but instead of putting the money in 'earmarked reserves' or 'contingencies' that no Community ever sees the benefit of I think we should encourage the Tories to reverse some of the cuts implemented earlier this year."

"One of the most interesting part of report is where it clearly says that a lot of the contingencies established in the 2010/11 budget where not needed and have been hardly used. This shows that there is scope for using money from these reserves to support communities at this difficult time.

The evidence is that this Council is very good at saving money and this should be applauded - but with Communities now facing significant cuts to Youth Services, Public Transport, reduced library opening hours and plans to restrict services to elderly and vulnerable people. It is the right time to demand a fresh look at this surplus."

  • This report projects a £5.893m surplus by the end of the 2010/11 Budget year.
  • The Council officers use 'carry forwards' to reduce this figure by moving money into reserve's earmarked for projects such as 'invest to save' - these are used to pay for changes in Council services but not necessarily directly used in local communities
  • The report also highlights how previously established contingencies for inflation (£5.16m) and Delays in Savings (£2m) have not been used.
  • Lib Dems calculate that the projected surplus and unused contingencies represent £13,053 is 3.74% of the total 2010/11 Council Budget and could be used better to cover the cuts projected in the 2011/12 budget approved in Feb.
  • Keith Lynch has called for a report on the Councils use of Contingencies and Reserves to the next meeting of the Budget & Performance Panel
  • Lib Dems do not think that the Council should spend all of their reserves but feel more could be used to reduce the impact of cuts either through delays or other options.