Public to have their say on money-saving proposals

Posted on 26 November 2012 by Weymouth & Portland Borough Council

Weymouth & Portland Borough Council needs to be spending £3.9 million less each year by 2019/20, says a new report.

And residents will be asked their views on far-reaching proposals by Councillors to protect front line services and keep council tax down.

Over the past two years the amount of money the borough council receives from the Government has fallen by 28%. Further large cuts are anticipated until 2019/20.

Like householders, the council has also seen many of its costs, such as fuel and energy, rise far ahead of inflation. Income and the value of its investments has also fallen.

The borough council needs to take a longer term view and prepare for a future where it is spending far less each year says the report to the borough council’s Management Committee on 4 December.

The Budget Working Group issued the following joint statement:

“Facing an historically difficult time for local government funding, local Councillors set aside political differences to establish a cross party Budget Working Group that has been undertaking detailed strategic planning work for several months.

“Whilst other councils are failing, this budget is the first of several that will secure the long term provision of essential and valued services to our Weymouth & Portland community.

“We committed ourselves to protect those services that make a real difference to the quality of life of our most vulnerable residents such as our homelessness prevention work and housing advice service, those services we all rely upon such as our current regular refuse collection and those services that perform a vital task in protecting local residents as with our environmental health work.

“We will protect essential services by:

  • Restructuring non essential discretionary services
  • Rationalising the property portfolio (including the disposal of the Council Offices and Guildhall)
  • Set aside sufficient funding to maintain council assets that are retained
  • Reducing the number of Councillors and moving to a four yearly election cycle
  • Reducing management costs through further partnership work

“Weymouth & Portland Borough Council has an excellent track record in protecting services. When other councils were already cutting back we stripped out waste from our core services and we led the country with a ground breaking partnership with West Dorset District Council reducing management costs and producing ongoing savings in excess of £2 million for the two councils.

“This budget paper seeks to reform how we deliver non essential services starting with alternate ways of providing for the performing arts and tourist information. We acknowledge that these reforms will not be universally welcomed and that they will lead to the loss of council jobs with the inevitable distress for the employees affected.

“However if we fail to tackle the problem we will condemn all services, including those most critical to the well being of our residents, to a slow, painful and protracted demise.”

Cllr Peter Chapman – Brief Holder for Finance & Assets

Cllr Mike Goodman – Conservative Group Representative

Cllr Kate Wheller – Labour Group Representative

Cllr Geoff Petherick – Independent Group Representative

The full 2013/14 budget report to Weymouth & Portland Borough Council’s Management Committee can be seen at http://webapps-wpbc.dorsetforyou.com/apps/democracy/managementDocuments.asp

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For more information, please contact:

Link to Weymouth and Portland Borough Council contact information
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council
Council Offices
North Quay
Weymouth
Dorset
DT4 8TA

Twitter: #wpbc
Or email us:
c.services@westdorset-weymouth.gov.uk

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(01305) 838000
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2 Comments For This Post

  1. A local resident Says:

    The time has come to get rid of the vast (and very costly) white elephant that is called Weymouth Pavilion. Either that or get someone in to run it who knows what they are doing, the current management do not seem to have much of a clue about getting acts in that people (i.e ME) are prepared to spend money to go and see.
    It has made a huge loss for many years now and it is wrong that the council tax payers of the area should continue to subsidise it. I have heard the arguement that “the visitors like it” Well not enough visitors like it do they??
    If it was a shop and had been making a loss for as many years as this “money pit” has then it would have been closed years ago.
    BITE THE BULLET and BIN IT !!!

  2. andy thompson Says:

    “However if we fail to tackle the problem we will condemn all services, including those most critical to the well being of our residents, to a slow, painful and protracted demise.”

    I believe that we have been subjected to a slow, painful and protracted demise for many a year. The Council have been reluctant to spend money and to do necessary repairs on the Pavilion, Condor Ferry Terminal, Greenhill chalets, Chapelhay Street wall behind the Council Offices, The Old Town Hall, The Guildhall, seafron hotels,the list could go on and on i’m sure. The repairs are only ever done at the very last minute. The Council must have received a lot of income over the years from the Harbour fees and Condor as well as from other areas such as extortionate car parking fees. The problem is that just like any other public service organisation they waste money.
    Not every part of the Councils empire can make money. some things are worth putting up with even if they lose money, like the pavilion, to give the public what they expect. The employees at the Council always come over as if they think that they are better than us, well this isn’t so, but they should be. They should be thinking ahead in the future and not just wait for the crap to hit the fan and then try to get us out of it. It is only now that they are thinking of selling the Council Offices site when they are not going to realise its true value. why didn’t they sell it when land values were higher it’s not as if they couldn’t see that it is a prime site. Instead of trying to offload all of these sites now they should be trying to think of ways to raise revenue from these sites whilst tightening their belts as well. How can they justify the money being wasted on the road changesto preston beach road from chalbury corner or for the money being spent on dorchester road?. I personally still do not believe that the new roads into weymouth were worth spending nearly 100 million pounds on. I know that the money came from a different purse but i do not believe that the Littlemoor mushrooms were worth having or the rubbish lasers on the seafront. Perhaps we could cut the arts council and save the country a fortune. We all pay for these things in the end.
    The council should be more accepting of proposals that could save them having to spend money in the future too. one such proposal to do exactly this was put to the council by myself. I asked for permission to set up an attraction on the rodwell trail by starting with a facility that would enable me to serve food and drink to the trail users in the form of an old railway carriage or mobile catering facility. I suggested that the attraction could be built up by using a land train to take passengers along the trail to ferrybridge or even portland victoria square area. By doing this the council could save money by not having to pay for the upkeep of the trail area and receive money for the lease of such a scheme. Instead of welcoming such a suggestion the response from the council was, I will ask someone to look at your suggestion but he is quite busy and it may take him six months. Sorry, don’t put yourself out on my case will you. As long as there are people in charge like this at the council things will only get worse.

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