This week we have set out our four-year financial plan, which sets out to protect essential frontline services for our residents through increasing efficiency and generating new income.
The proposals are based on initial findings from a spending review which addressed the need to find around £38 million in budget savings over the next four years. It’s a challenging time for all councils with continued reductions in funding from central government alongside increasing demand for services. We’re making good progress and have already identified approximately £19 million - made of up of a combination of efficiencies, increased income through sound investments, and finding new ways of delivering services. We will be carrying out further reviews in the months and years ahead to look for additional areas where we can save money and generate income.
On Monday evening I took part in a question and answer session organised by Keynsham Chamber of Commerce. It was a really useful session and I listened to residents’ concerns about a number of issues including parking and antisocial behaviour. We are having a multi-agency meeting next week to discuss these and find the best way forward.
On Wednesday I visited our salt depot in Clutton where they are preparing for another winter. Some 1,300 tonnes of salt is ready to ensure our priority routes are gritted so that people can get around the road network as safely as possible.
I also met with some very happy street traders in Bath who now have their own dedicated power supply. The Council has put in place new power points for seven pitches on Stall Street. Historically street traders have used generators to power lights and provide electricity for their stalls, but they can create noise and fumes.
Later in the day I chaired a Cabinet meeting in The Guildhall. We approved two more neighbourhood plans, for Freshford & Limpley Stoke, and Clutton. The plans, drawn up by the parish councils with local residents, are among the first in our area, and will help them shape the development of their local communities.
I attended a breakfast in Bristol with around 100 business leaders from across the region on Thursday.
On Remembrance Sunday I will be paying my respects by laying a wreath at the Royal Victoria Park War Memorial before attending a service at the Abbey.