LiveLIVE: County Hall sets budget

First published in News
Last updated
Halstead Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Senior reporter

This live event has finished

Summary

  • Conservative administration has proposed a council tax freeze for the fourth year running.
  • Spending plans include £2m on flood management & £1m on school improvements.
  • Opposition parties will put forward their alternative plans today.
  • All alternatives include £3m for youth services.

1:06pm

Now for the main budget (including council tax freeze) - and it's APPROVED.

(For 49 / Against 21 / abstained 2)

1:03pm

Pierre Oxley's amendment on youth services FALLS (29 for vs 42 against)

12:59pm

Labour amendment falls

12:59pm

Lib Dem amendment falls.

12:52pm

Deputy leader Kevin Bentley says opposition amendments make no reference to the £107m savings made this year or balance the books but instead "spend spend spend".

12:45pm

Cllr Walters (waste) says much of his budget increase is to tackle a rise in landfill tax.

12:44pm

Cllr Louis (transformation) says no amendments looks at an alternative to save money and simply seek to run down reserves.

12:42pm

Cllr Jowers (communities, libraries and planning) said his small budget and grants from it helped to reach bigger budgets.

Gave example of £4m match funded with Tendring on sea defences which opened up a £41m scheme with government support.

12:37pm

Cllr Bass (highways) says he will offer match funding for verge and ditch clearance up to £50k.

He details how money in his department will be spent including £2m on drainage.

12:31pm

Cllr Madden (children and families) welcomes additional spending on tackling domestic violence.

12:29pm

12:28pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Nebs says

Cllr Dave Harris wrote:
County council needs to get a grip of the contractor ring way whose performance on pot holes is dire
The criteria needs review so we are not wasting tax payer cash
More pot holes repaired in a quicker smarter way
There must be enough potholes to justify the full time employment of a small team of repairers. It would surely be cheaper than paying a middleman contractor.

12:28pm

Cllr Gooding: "Some people say of the youth service 'when it's gone it's gone'. The same is true of the money."

12:23pm

Cllr Gooding (education) says we cannot rest on our laurels.

12:19pm

Cllr Aldridge (adult social care) says independent living is the key to making savings.

12:17pm

Cabinet members can now speak on spending in their portfolios...

12:16pm

Cllr Lodge (Ind) says common theme of amendments is the youth service and says the proposed budget cut is not a cut "but a murder".

12:08pm

I count 29 opposition party councillors in the chamber today so it is unlikely the Conservative budget will fall (75 councillors in total at ECC when everyone is here).

12:06pm

Last speaker now in general debate before seconders can sum up. Then the voting begins.

12:05pm

Feel free to post your comments below and I will include a selection.

12:04pm

12:02pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Kim Gandy says

Other Labour plans include:

£160k to pay living wage for lowest paid council employees

What about employees of private organisations? At least one of these political parties should be banging the drum for a proper living wage for ALL sectors of employment.

"We cannot and will not live beyond our means."

What, you mean like the free dinners at County Hall and the chairman's chauffeur driven limo?

"Cllr Durcan (Lab) says spending on flood repairs is welcomed but asked where was funding to prevent it."

Oh my God, some commonsense at last from Labour.

12:04pm

Cllr Howard (Con) says he will still be vocal on street lights and youth services but supported the budget in its totality.

12:00pm

Cllr Robinson (Lib Dem) supports spending in budget on free school meals (£2.7m), support for two-year-olds (£1.6m) and on pupils falling behind (£8.6m) from government.

But says support for older children & teenagers was being cut by 86% over four years.

11:47am

Cllr Smith (UKIP) says substantial savings would come from leaving the EU.

11:44am

Cllr Deakin (Lib Dem) supports her party's proposed £250k additional funding for exceptions to the part-night lighting scheme.

11:36am

Cllr Hoy (Green) says cutting the youth budget now creates problems in the future.

11:35am

Cllr Danvers (Lab) asks if the administration is genuinely concerned about poverty or are they crocodile tears.

11:29am

Cllr Graham Butland (Con) asks if there is money in the budget to support a vulnerable group - UKIP 

11:26am

Cllr Durcan (Lab) says spending on flood repairs is welcomed but asked where was funding to prevent it.

11:23am

Cllr Anne Turrell (Lib Dem) says ECC is doing a lot for businesses but could do more and backs her party's proposal for £1m for enterprise hubs such as the one in Colchester (where she is the borough council leader).

11:20am

Cllr Dave Harris (Lab) says even the prime minister backs the living wage and it sets a good example, while boosting the economy.

11:17am

Now the debate begins...

11:14am

Tendring First councillor Pierre Oxley puts forward an amendment putting £3m back into youth services funded from the general reserve.

11:11am

Supports Labour's living wage amendment.

11:10am

Cllr Abbott says no proposal as he knows it would be voted down but asks senior councillors to reconsider cuts to children's centres.

11:09am

Cllr Abbott challenges the need for future spending cuts and says Eric Pickles (local government minister) is "economically illiterate".

11:07am

James Abbott speaking now for the Greens.

11:06am

Also praises the budget for its general thrust but makes no proposals for amendments.

11:04am

Chris Pond now speaks on behalf of the non-aligned group.

11:04am

UKIP make no proposed amendments in a bid to save money on paper....

10:57am

UKIP leader Jamie Huntman up next.

10:55am

Lib Dem proposals include:

  • £3.25m to keep youth service running
  • £4.7m for road repairs & white lining
  • £750k to fund post-16 school transport

To be funded from reserves and the emergency contingency.

10:52am

Next up Lib Dem leader Mike Mackrory.

10:51am

Labour plans to be funded by reserves.

10:50am

Other Labour plans include:

  • £160k to pay living wage for lowest paid council employees
  • £150k hardship fund to be spent by credit unions

 

10:47am

Pledges to keep the £3m for Youth Services axed under the Tory budget proposals.

10:45am

Next up is Cllr Julie Young to present the Labour amendments.

10:44am

Cllr Finch: "This administration has the credibility and track record to continue to deliver for the people of Essex."

10:40am

Additional £17m on roads to fix potholes on top of £35m over two years pledged last year.

Plus £8m for Local Highways Panels.

10:38am

£500k for apprenticeships on top of planned spending.

10:38am

Cllr Finch: "We want to see sustainable economic growth for Essex businesses and communities."

10:37am

Cash pledged for school buildings and equipment (£97m)

10:36am

10:35am

10:30am

Flood management will have £2m invested in it, plus £1m from emergency funds.

10:29am

Total of £16.8m extra cash for roads in budget.

10:28am

Fourth year running we will be freezing council tax bills, says Cllr Finch.

10:27am

"It is a budget that involves some decisions which in an ideal world we would not choose to take."

10:25am

"We cannot and will not live beyond our means."

10:25am

Care Bill could add £40m of costs to ECC spending without full funding.

10:24am

Budget gap will be £235m by 2017 and savings of £107m needed this year alone.

10:23am

£211m on capital projects as part of £1.86bn total budget.

10:22am

"Budget is one of the most important dates of the council year."

Marks the 125th anniversary of ECC and says difficult decisions needed.

10:21am

Council leader David Finch begins budget speech.

10:11am

Clacton county councillor Andy Wood praises emergency services and Tendring Council for their response to last week's gas explosion.

10:08am

The meeting begins with announcements from chairman Kay Twitchen.

Comments (17)

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12:02pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Kim Gandy says...

Other Labour plans include:

£160k to pay living wage for lowest paid council employees

What about employees of private organisations? At least one of these political parties should be banging the drum for a proper living wage for ALL sectors of employment.

"We cannot and will not live beyond our means."

What, you mean like the free dinners at County Hall and the chairman's chauffeur driven limo?

"Cllr Durcan (Lab) says spending on flood repairs is welcomed but asked where was funding to prevent it."

Oh my God, some commonsense at last from Labour.
Other Labour plans include: £160k to pay living wage for lowest paid council employees What about employees of private organisations? At least one of these political parties should be banging the drum for a proper living wage for ALL sectors of employment. "We cannot and will not live beyond our means." What, you mean like the free dinners at County Hall and the chairman's chauffeur driven limo? "Cllr Durcan (Lab) says spending on flood repairs is welcomed but asked where was funding to prevent it." Oh my God, some commonsense at last from Labour. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -2

12:08pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Cllr Dave Harris says...

Living wage should be there for all
Living wage should be there for all Cllr Dave Harris
  • Score: 10

12:09pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Cllr Dave Harris says...

Flood repairs and some ditch clearing is essential
Flood repairs and some ditch clearing is essential Cllr Dave Harris
  • Score: 12

12:09pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Kim Gandy says...

Cllr Dave Harris wrote:
Living wage should be there for all
Absolutely
[quote][p][bold]Cllr Dave Harris[/bold] wrote: Living wage should be there for all[/p][/quote]Absolutely Kim Gandy
  • Score: 6

12:10pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Kim Gandy says...

Cllr Dave Harris wrote:
Flood repairs and some ditch clearing is essential
Flood prevention would be better.

The Fairglen interchange and Rayleigh Weir are two such examples.
[quote][p][bold]Cllr Dave Harris[/bold] wrote: Flood repairs and some ditch clearing is essential[/p][/quote]Flood prevention would be better. The Fairglen interchange and Rayleigh Weir are two such examples. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 4

12:13pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Cllr Dave Harris says...

County council needs to get a grip of the contractor ring way whose performance on pot holes is dire
The criteria needs review so we are not wasting tax payer cash
More pot holes repaired in a quicker smarter way
County council needs to get a grip of the contractor ring way whose performance on pot holes is dire The criteria needs review so we are not wasting tax payer cash More pot holes repaired in a quicker smarter way Cllr Dave Harris
  • Score: 9

12:24pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Cllr Dave Harris says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Cllr Dave Harris wrote:
Flood repairs and some ditch clearing is essential
Flood prevention would be better.

The Fairglen interchange and Rayleigh Weir are two such examples.
Definitely agreed
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cllr Dave Harris[/bold] wrote: Flood repairs and some ditch clearing is essential[/p][/quote]Flood prevention would be better. The Fairglen interchange and Rayleigh Weir are two such examples.[/p][/quote]Definitely agreed Cllr Dave Harris
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Nebs says...

Cllr Dave Harris wrote:
County council needs to get a grip of the contractor ring way whose performance on pot holes is dire
The criteria needs review so we are not wasting tax payer cash
More pot holes repaired in a quicker smarter way
There must be enough potholes to justify the full time employment of a small team of repairers. It would surely be cheaper than paying a middleman contractor.
[quote][p][bold]Cllr Dave Harris[/bold] wrote: County council needs to get a grip of the contractor ring way whose performance on pot holes is dire The criteria needs review so we are not wasting tax payer cash More pot holes repaired in a quicker smarter way[/p][/quote]There must be enough potholes to justify the full time employment of a small team of repairers. It would surely be cheaper than paying a middleman contractor. Nebs
  • Score: 10

1:24pm Tue 11 Feb 14

julieee says...

every council promoting living wage should ensure everybody working in their buildings is receiving it, including the sub-contacted cleaner
every council promoting living wage should ensure everybody working in their buildings is receiving it, including the sub-contacted cleaner julieee
  • Score: 6

1:39pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Cllr Dave Harris says...

Fiasco of budget setting over with cuts incorporated
Winners are those who have
Loosers are vulnerable, sick, youth work and of course our poor roads
Oh yes another winner is quik fit in car repairs
Fiasco of budget setting over with cuts incorporated Winners are those who have Loosers are vulnerable, sick, youth work and of course our poor roads Oh yes another winner is quik fit in car repairs Cllr Dave Harris
  • Score: 5

2:34pm Tue 11 Feb 14

You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
Cllr Dave Harris wrote:
Flood repairs and some ditch clearing is essential
Flood prevention would be better.

The Fairglen interchange and Rayleigh Weir are two such examples.
As the Government has said today 50 years of neglect, with five weeks of rain, is the reason, try grasping that simple equation, before thinking throwing local money, which isn't there will sort it.
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Cllr Dave Harris[/bold] wrote: Flood repairs and some ditch clearing is essential[/p][/quote]Flood prevention would be better. The Fairglen interchange and Rayleigh Weir are two such examples.[/p][/quote]As the Government has said today 50 years of neglect, with five weeks of rain, is the reason, try grasping that simple equation, before thinking throwing local money, which isn't there will sort it. You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat
  • Score: 3

5:39pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Lesley says...

The kerbside drains in Hockley and Hawkwell have been silted up ever since I have lived here (2001). Every time the rain is heavy the rain runs off into our garage and Hill Road in Hawkwell is so flooded, you can't navigate it except by boat.

It's about time some resources were allocated to this.
The kerbside drains in Hockley and Hawkwell have been silted up ever since I have lived here (2001). Every time the rain is heavy the rain runs off into our garage and Hill Road in Hawkwell is so flooded, you can't navigate it except by boat. It's about time some resources were allocated to this. Lesley
  • Score: 1

5:42pm Tue 11 Feb 14

You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat says...

Lesley wrote:
The kerbside drains in Hockley and Hawkwell have been silted up ever since I have lived here (2001). Every time the rain is heavy the rain runs off into our garage and Hill Road in Hawkwell is so flooded, you can't navigate it except by boat.

It's about time some resources were allocated to this.
You mean to say for thirteen years you have let it remain, you could have tunnelled to France in that time
[quote][p][bold]Lesley[/bold] wrote: The kerbside drains in Hockley and Hawkwell have been silted up ever since I have lived here (2001). Every time the rain is heavy the rain runs off into our garage and Hill Road in Hawkwell is so flooded, you can't navigate it except by boat. It's about time some resources were allocated to this.[/p][/quote]You mean to say for thirteen years you have let it remain, you could have tunnelled to France in that time You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat
  • Score: -5

6:06pm Tue 11 Feb 14

Lesley says...

You'dfeelbetterforkn
owingthat
wrote:
Lesley wrote:
The kerbside drains in Hockley and Hawkwell have been silted up ever since I have lived here (2001). Every time the rain is heavy the rain runs off into our garage and Hill Road in Hawkwell is so flooded, you can't navigate it except by boat.

It's about time some resources were allocated to this.
You mean to say for thirteen years you have let it remain, you could have tunnelled to France in that time
No, we have cleared the drain at the top of our drive a few times but it soon silts up again.

Anyway, it shouldn't have to be cleared by me, that's what I pay council tax for.
[quote][p][bold]You'dfeelbetterforkn owingthat[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lesley[/bold] wrote: The kerbside drains in Hockley and Hawkwell have been silted up ever since I have lived here (2001). Every time the rain is heavy the rain runs off into our garage and Hill Road in Hawkwell is so flooded, you can't navigate it except by boat. It's about time some resources were allocated to this.[/p][/quote]You mean to say for thirteen years you have let it remain, you could have tunnelled to France in that time[/p][/quote]No, we have cleared the drain at the top of our drive a few times but it soon silts up again. Anyway, it shouldn't have to be cleared by me, that's what I pay council tax for. Lesley
  • Score: 7

9:58pm Tue 11 Feb 14

You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat says...

Lesley wrote:
You'dfeelbetterforkn

owingthat
wrote:
Lesley wrote:
The kerbside drains in Hockley and Hawkwell have been silted up ever since I have lived here (2001). Every time the rain is heavy the rain runs off into our garage and Hill Road in Hawkwell is so flooded, you can't navigate it except by boat.

It's about time some resources were allocated to this.
You mean to say for thirteen years you have let it remain, you could have tunnelled to France in that time
No, we have cleared the drain at the top of our drive a few times but it soon silts up again.

Anyway, it shouldn't have to be cleared by me, that's what I pay council tax for.
That's the trouble these days, everyone wants to moan, yet no one wants to help, the result here, you get flooded, 13 years looking at that drain silting up, and you did nothing?
[quote][p][bold]Lesley[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]You'dfeelbetterforkn owingthat[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Lesley[/bold] wrote: The kerbside drains in Hockley and Hawkwell have been silted up ever since I have lived here (2001). Every time the rain is heavy the rain runs off into our garage and Hill Road in Hawkwell is so flooded, you can't navigate it except by boat. It's about time some resources were allocated to this.[/p][/quote]You mean to say for thirteen years you have let it remain, you could have tunnelled to France in that time[/p][/quote]No, we have cleared the drain at the top of our drive a few times but it soon silts up again. Anyway, it shouldn't have to be cleared by me, that's what I pay council tax for.[/p][/quote]That's the trouble these days, everyone wants to moan, yet no one wants to help, the result here, you get flooded, 13 years looking at that drain silting up, and you did nothing? You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat
  • Score: -6

10:17am Wed 12 Feb 14

bloke down the pub says...

The only people who benefit from privatised services are the counselors that award them the contracts. Al services should be run in house. Stop lining the pockets of counselors an d there buddys. Its up to you
The only people who benefit from privatised services are the counselors that award them the contracts. Al services should be run in house. Stop lining the pockets of counselors an d there buddys. Its up to you bloke down the pub
  • Score: 3

10:27pm Wed 12 Feb 14

woolstone says...

The Fairglen interchange isn't that where they want to put a travellers site ?
The Fairglen interchange isn't that where they want to put a travellers site ? woolstone
  • Score: 0

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