Two year's after taking control and despite severe cuts in grant from central government, the Liberal Democrat & Independent led Torbay Council has found significant savings in order to act on what residents asked for.
Council Leader Steve Darling says we are showing what a difference how people vote can make to what their local Council can do as we are able to invest more into the services our communities value the most. The budget proposals, which will be voted on by the Council at the annual budget meeting this Thursday (11thth February) include:
- £1.1million for the community and voluntary sector, focussing on keeping people healthy and independent in their home and community
- £700,000 to support children and families with complex and challenging needs in their home communities
- £300,000 for residents facing financial hardship
- £150,000 to dredge Brixham Harbour so larger fishing vessels can be accommodated
- £150,000 to reinstate subsidies for local bus services and maintaining parking fees as outlined in the original budget proposals
Steve Darling, Lib Dem Leader of Torbay Council, said:
"When the initial budget proposals were drawn up a number of financial pressures were identified as a result of the continuing central government cuts, and the Covid-19 pandemic. Now we have the funding settlement for next year and some Covid funds from Whitehall we can act on more of the things the public asked for in the budget consultation.
"One of our key priorities on taking control with the Independents was to improve our Children's Services and it's heartening to see that we have made great progress in the current financial year. For the first time in a long time, we are improving the lives of children and making savings instead of covering an overspend in this vital area.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Cordelia Law, who leads on children's services said:
"Through our focus on Children's Services and the service redesign we have undertaken, we now have a more stable and happier workforce and we have halved the number of children in residential care. This means that we are not only providing better services to families and vulnerable children, but in doing so, we have dramatically improved our financial position."
Lee Howgate, Lib Dem Councillor for Goodrington with Roselands, and Chair of the Overview and Scrutinty Committee said:
"Unfortunately, rather than giving us and other councils the funding to meet the increasing demand from adult social care, the Government has again told us to add 3 percent to the Council Tax to meet this. We had hoped only to raise Council Tax by under 2 percent as outlined in our initial budget proposals, equating to £1.50 a week for an average Band D property. Nevertheless, despite the Government's failings, we continue to have the lowest Council Tax in Devon and early indications suggest this is likely to be the case next year."