Published on Sunday, 19th February 2017

 

On Tuesday, the council meet to consider the budget for the coming year and after a lengthy debate adopted the administration's revenue and capital budgets without amendment.

 

It is always a relief to see the budget go through - with no party having a majority on Portsmouth City Council, every year I worry that a combination of illness and the decisions of the smaller groups could conspire to let a bad amendment pass.

 

There was a lot of virtue signalling in the LibDem proposal, but not a lot that was realistic. So setting aside £50,000 for a feasibility study on a hospital discharge centre would not have resulted in anything being built, as to do so would be an NHS responsibility and at 0.009% of QA hospital's annual budget, if they wanted to do that, they could easily fund it themselves. Last year, it was all about how £10,000 would stop the flood defences from aging, when in reality you would need one hundred times that amount.

 

The good news though is how through prudent financial management, the savings targets for future years are coming down. Next year the council will have to find an additional £4m in savings, which compares very favourably to the £17m it needed in 2013 and the similar figure it needed in 2015. This year's target was £9m.

 

Tags: Budget