Fears of more budget woes in Peterborough
The leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Peterborough City Council, Nick Sandford, said residents will have to wait to see if 'the Tory cabinet has any nasty surprises up their sleeve' as it puts together its budget for 2017/18.
The council has released its first set of budget proposals for next year, with the remainder to be released in January.
Cllr Sandford said: “Phase one of the council budget is like one of those quiz questions where you have to guess the identity of a mystery guest by seeing only a few segments of their face.
“We really need to see phase two to see if the Tory cabinet has any nasty surprises up their sleeve before we can get the full picture and form a final judgement.
“With many of the so called “efficiency savings” you won’t really find out what impact they will have until they are implemented.”
Cllr Chris Ash, leader of the Peterborough Independent Forum, said: “It will certainly be an uphill struggle getting spending within budget and meeting the rising costs and demands for vital and essential services. It may be a time to put political differences aside and get the best we can from the money we have.”
Cllr John Whitby, UKIP group leader, said ongoing cuts to the council’s government grant meant that a rise in council tax was inevitable.
He added: “Are we happy with the budget proposals? No. But they are the best compromise that is available at the present time.
“Councillors have been asked to bring any ideas that they have to generate revenue or deliver savings to the budget working group, but not many seem to have been forthcoming.”