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Analysis of Preston Council Budget: What’s the money going to be spent on, and where?

Posted on - 30th January, 2012 - 9:40am | Author - | Posted in - Business, Politics, Preston Council

Preston City Council have released the details of their new budget proposal, including a proposed rise in council tax by 3.5%.

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Ed Walker has already covered the key points in his story last week, but I’m going to take a look at the specific numbers involved in the council’s savings and spending areas.

In the consultation document the council emphasise the importance on Guild year, saying: “The next financial year is an important year for the city as we celebrate Preston Guild.

“In 2010 the council made a commitment to fund the Guild despite pressures on the budget.

“It made this commitment for cultural, heritage, social and economic reasons together with a firm belief that at a difficult time it can bring lasting rewards to those who live and work in the city.”

First, let’s take a look at the proposed spending areas for the budget, click on the graph below to scroll through and compare the areas where funding has been allocated.

Redundancy Costs

Preston Council’s redundancy proposals will lead to “approximately” 25 jobs over the three year budget period. 6 posts are vacant and will be “deleted”, while several members of the Guild team will be let go. The council also estimate that several redundancies will be dealt with by voluntary early retirement.

Cost: £827,000 in 2012/13, £27,000 in 2013/14, £100,000 in 2014/15

Costs of Capital investment

The council will borrow to fund capital expenditure.

Cost: £22,000 in 2012/13, £123,000 in 2013/14 and ongoing

Car parking strategy

In December the council agreed to increase some charges for one year. The cabinet proposes to undertake a review of its medium term car parking strategy including consultation with interesting communities. There will be consideration of a match day parking scheme in the area around Deepdale Stadium.

Cost: £25,000 in 2012/13 only

Grants to the community and voluntary sector 

The council has proposed to delay the previous budget reduction by £20,000 in 2012. This will be funded by money saved from November strike action.

Cost: £20,000 in 2012/13 only

Funeral support fund

The council has frozen fees for cremations and burials in 2012/13 and increase fees in 2013/14. They have also proposed a funeral support fund for families who struggle to meet the costs of a funeral.

Cost: £40,000 – £10,000 per year from 2012 – 2016

Promoting Your City

The cabinet has proposed to set aside some funds to ensure the council can use the Guild, open golf and Pendle witches to promote Preston as “open for business”.

Cost: £30,000 in 2012/13 only

Capital Spending

St. Paul’s Road development

Developing the St. Paul’s Road/Argyll Road site for affordable and social housing.

Cost: £50,000 in 2012/13 only

Renewable energy

Carry out investigations into the generation of renewable energy by wind, solar and other sources.

Cost: £325,000 in 2012/13 only

Fulwood and West View Leisure Centre

Investing in fitness equipment at both Fulwood and West View Leisure Centre to ensure up to date equipment.

Cost: £469,000 in 2012/13 only 

Development of retail market hall, covered markets, market carpark

Cost: £330,000 in 2012/13 only 

 

What do you think of the council’s spending proposals? Do you think the money has been invested wisely, or should it be distributed elsewhere?

Tomorrow I’ll be analysing the areas that the council proposes to save money. 

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