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Deliberation Rates Wrap-up 

There was little restraint evident today as suddenly there appeared to be a pool of funds available for all manner of projects. It was not until the end of the meeting when it was announced that 'savings and economies' had been achieved elsewhere that enabled several projects to get off the ground without effecting rates to any degree.

In fact, there was great glee when 'financial Statements' were reached late in the meeting, and the Chief Executive and Mayor announced that a 1% decrease in rates had been achieved. Taking into account today's largess, they agreed it would probably be closer to 0%. Well even that is pretty impressive.

Of course, as I have pointed out on several occasions in the past, non-profit organisations are in a privileged position of not having to achieve profit targets. To balance the books, or go into surplus, all they have to do is slow down capital expenditure, and it is pretty clear that is what has happened in this case.

Accounts to 28 February clearly show the following under Capital Expenditure:

Year to date Actual $11,093,923

Year to date Budget $21,932,302

Annual Plan Budget $32,872,769

December Revision $30,519,110

Even with the best will in the world, there is no way that this budget can be met - savings have been made, and hence the sudden ability to be able end the year with a surplus. I will leave you to judge whether you consider this to be healthy or otherwise.

There is no indication at this stage as to which projects have been cut, but you be sure that Group Services Manger, John Whittle has been leant upon, heavily.




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