Swindon AdvertiserTransport to be hit in £25m Wiltshire Council budget cut (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Transport to be hit in £25m Wiltshire Council budget cut

Swindon Advertiser: Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott

Transport services are set to take a hit as part of proposals to cut Wiltshire Council’s budget by £25m in 2014/15.

The proposed budget, agreed by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, will cut funding for bus services they deem to be inefficient, saving £176,000, bring family information services in-house, saving £120,000, and cut £39,000 worth of funding to the region’s Link bus services by withdrawing 5p per mile of support funding.

The budget will now be considered by councillors at the full council meeting taking place at County Hall, in Trowbridge, on Tuesday, February 25.

Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott said some tough decisions had to be made when preparing this year’s budget.

Coun Scott said: “This has not been a very easy budget but there were two things we wanted to ensure.

"The first was that we protected frontline services as much as possible and the second was that we wanted to keep the council tax down as we know people are struggling.”

The proposals will see Wiltshire Council’s element of the council tax frozen.

The budget will also see around £18m invested in improving some of their other services.

These include investing an extra £10m in highways schemes, an additional £3.6m in supporting older and vulnerable people, an extra £1.3m in health provision and giving staff a one per cent pay rise.

Before producing their budget, the council held a public consultation. Residents wanted to see further investment in being road maintenance, adult social care services and the provision of affordable housing.

Wiltshire Council’s budget for 2014/15 is £333m, which is £7.5m lower than last year.

The council’s Settlement Funding Allocation grant from central Government has been reduced by £12.8m to £63.2m this year.

Wiltshire councillor Dick Tonge, cabinet member for finance, said that these cutbacks have had a major bearing on this year’s proposed budget.

He said: “We have again had to face up to considerable challenges following reduced central government funding and the increased demands on council services, particularly for those who are most vulnerable in our communities.

“Our vision to create stronger communities remains at the heart of everything we do and this budget helps us to achieve that.”

To see the proposed budget in full visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk

Comments (13)

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9:31am Thu 13 Feb 14

the optimist says...

Its OK Jane, we understand. You got your allowances increase and now there is no money left for services.

Roll on 2017
Its OK Jane, we understand. You got your allowances increase and now there is no money left for services. Roll on 2017 the optimist
  • Score: 16

9:33am Thu 13 Feb 14

€d says...

Not to worry, the tough decision over allowances has been made. Who needs public transport anyway?
Not to worry, the tough decision over allowances has been made. Who needs public transport anyway? €d
  • Score: 10

10:44am Thu 13 Feb 14

politepanda says...

"Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott said some tough decisions had to be made when preparing this year’s budget."
As log as you're alright, Jack - er - Jane, eh? Oh - wait - you are, aren't you?
"Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott said some tough decisions had to be made when preparing this year’s budget." As log as you're alright, Jack - er - Jane, eh? Oh - wait - you are, aren't you? politepanda
  • Score: 11

12:03pm Thu 13 Feb 14

house on the hill says...

the optimist wrote:
Its OK Jane, we understand. You got your allowances increase and now there is no money left for services.

Roll on 2017
Not sure that will make much difference, just different person same sh1t!
[quote][p][bold]the optimist[/bold] wrote: Its OK Jane, we understand. You got your allowances increase and now there is no money left for services. Roll on 2017[/p][/quote]Not sure that will make much difference, just different person same sh1t! house on the hill
  • Score: 4

12:11pm Thu 13 Feb 14

kimcrawley says...

So pleased that Jane and her colleagues have such a wonderful ability to identify inefficient bus services.
Pity they can't identify inefficient Council cabinets.
Is it true that Mickey Mouse has a Jane Scott watch?
So pleased that Jane and her colleagues have such a wonderful ability to identify inefficient bus services. Pity they can't identify inefficient Council cabinets. Is it true that Mickey Mouse has a Jane Scott watch? kimcrawley
  • Score: 12

1:20pm Thu 13 Feb 14

brasstacks says...

We wonder if the extra 1.3 million 'health provision" W/C is allocating itself is because WE all now have to pay Jane Scott extra for chairing/being head honcho of yet another "committee" ?..

I guess most of us have no idea of what "bringing family information services in-house" means but no doubt it has been thought up by an overpaid Corporate Director for whom life revolves around theory and seminars and Twitter & Facebook pages??..

"Protecting front line services as much as possible" IS an appalling million miles away from what W/C IS actually doing to our County.

If W/C WERE "protecting front line services", they would NOT be cutting the Staff that provide them !!......

There IS more to "front line services", Jane, than providing the Greenhouse affect Attrium at a huge cost to Tax Payers !!??..

"an extra £10 million" for Services that W/C have ALREADY paid out Contractual £millions for is a joke and insult to Tax Payers money spent on Contractors chosen BY the "Cons-Cab".......

"Public (consultations) aka paper questionaires" do NOT represent the truth about how Residents actually feel about Services & Cuts......

The so called extra dosh being provided for the "elderly and vulnerable" IS an insult to the CUTS being made by W/C of Services for Disabled Children, Nurseries and Youth Services...

It won't be long now before John Thomson takes to the Press and tells the World about W/C "plans" for knocking down all the Sheltered Housing Units in our County and "replacing them".....

The Conservative led Cabinet have spent the WHOLE of their "reign" on a massive PR exercise designed to float their OWN "balloons" and NOT float the Services that Residents pay for....

Ms Scott, please ASAP, get OUR dosh out of YOUR chosen Investment Banks and SPEND it on our Services......perhap
s if you had NOT wasted so much of Tax payers money on your Party Political aspirations and obsessions, you might not have had to make ANY Cuts ??.....

Please STOP "ranting on in roadshows, radio interviews and in the press" ??..
The People of Wiltshire deserve MORE.....you cannot give it so...resign gracefully and let someone else put the wonderful back in Wiltshire ?
We wonder if the extra 1.3 million 'health provision" W/C is allocating itself is because WE all now have to pay Jane Scott extra for chairing/being head honcho of yet another "committee" ?.. I guess most of us have no idea of what "bringing family information services in-house" means but no doubt it has been thought up by an overpaid Corporate Director for whom life revolves around theory and seminars and Twitter & Facebook pages??.. "Protecting front line services as much as possible" IS an appalling million miles away from what W/C IS actually doing to our County. If W/C WERE "protecting front line services", they would NOT be cutting the Staff that provide them !!...... There IS more to "front line services", Jane, than providing the Greenhouse affect Attrium at a huge cost to Tax Payers !!??.. "an extra £10 million" for Services that W/C have ALREADY paid out Contractual £millions for is a joke and insult to Tax Payers money spent on Contractors chosen BY the "Cons-Cab"....... "Public (consultations) aka paper questionaires" do NOT represent the truth about how Residents actually feel about Services & Cuts...... The so called extra dosh being provided for the "elderly and vulnerable" IS an insult to the CUTS being made by W/C of Services for Disabled Children, Nurseries and Youth Services... It won't be long now before John Thomson takes to the Press and tells the World about W/C "plans" for knocking down all the Sheltered Housing Units in our County and "replacing them"..... The Conservative led Cabinet have spent the WHOLE of their "reign" on a massive PR exercise designed to float their OWN "balloons" and NOT float the Services that Residents pay for.... Ms Scott, please ASAP, get OUR dosh out of YOUR chosen Investment Banks and SPEND it on our Services......perhap s if you had NOT wasted so much of Tax payers money on your Party Political aspirations and obsessions, you might not have had to make ANY Cuts ??..... Please STOP "ranting on in roadshows, radio interviews and in the press" ??.. The People of Wiltshire deserve MORE.....you cannot give it so...resign gracefully and let someone else put the wonderful back in Wiltshire ? brasstacks
  • Score: 10

2:56pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Friend of the People says...

A lot of this budget is sleight of hand - Coalition Government cuts a whole range of grants to local Government and Wiltshire Council refuses to make up the difference. Result is that disabled children's groups suffer all across the county.

If the parents of these children turn up to lobby the councillors they should expect the same boorish behaviour from some Conservatives that the public suffered at the Council meeting on 4th February that ensured the greedy boys and girls were allowed to keep their 37% to 22% extra allowances. Remember tyhe nasty party runs County Hall - with the help of some Lib Dems.
A lot of this budget is sleight of hand - Coalition Government cuts a whole range of grants to local Government and Wiltshire Council refuses to make up the difference. Result is that disabled children's groups suffer all across the county. If the parents of these children turn up to lobby the councillors they should expect the same boorish behaviour from some Conservatives that the public suffered at the Council meeting on 4th February that ensured the greedy boys and girls were allowed to keep their 37% to 22% extra allowances. Remember tyhe nasty party runs County Hall - with the help of some Lib Dems. Friend of the People
  • Score: 5

6:48pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Tomdog says...

The subsidised Trans Wilts Rail Service forms part of Wiltshire Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund project.

Funding for the project comes after the council successfully bid for a Department for Transport (DfT) grant of £4.25m, which will support the improved service for three years.

We have just wasted £4.25 million on subsidy for a train service from Westbury to Swindon for a few passengers probably cheaper to buy them a car each. Now we taking subsidy away from local bus services. Plus the other services cut I think we have wasted £4.25 million on rail service subsidy.
The subsidised Trans Wilts Rail Service forms part of Wiltshire Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund project. Funding for the project comes after the council successfully bid for a Department for Transport (DfT) grant of £4.25m, which will support the improved service for three years. We have just wasted £4.25 million on subsidy for a train service from Westbury to Swindon for a few passengers probably cheaper to buy them a car each. Now we taking subsidy away from local bus services. Plus the other services cut I think we have wasted £4.25 million on rail service subsidy. Tomdog
  • Score: 2

10:12am Fri 14 Feb 14

Mrs Donnyfly says...

brasstacks, it really is about time you employed another synonym for money.
brasstacks, it really is about time you employed another synonym for money. Mrs Donnyfly
  • Score: -2

1:18pm Fri 14 Feb 14

brasstacks says...

With respect, "Mrs Donnyfly", I have no idea what a "synonym" is but what I DO know is that the Funding coming into our County IS being Politically spent instead of being spent on the Services that we all pay for.....

Wasted Subsidies ARE what the People of Wiltshire are now questioning.....

We pay our Council to do their best for us and that does NOT include doing so to improve Political image and personal gain.....
With respect, "Mrs Donnyfly", I have no idea what a "synonym" is but what I DO know is that the Funding coming into our County IS being Politically spent instead of being spent on the Services that we all pay for..... Wasted Subsidies ARE what the People of Wiltshire are now questioning..... We pay our Council to do their best for us and that does NOT include doing so to improve Political image and personal gain..... brasstacks
  • Score: 2

6:05pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Friend of the People says...

Have you heard about Claire Perry not knowing that her Coaltion Government was cutting a grant to Wiltshire Council to fund the centres throughout Wiltshire for disabled children, No one told me, she claimed. This from the superwoman Tory MP. And she is meant to represent us.

The amount is only a few thousand - it could come from the extra money the Conservatives voted for themselves a week or so back. Who should Madame Claire lobby - Number 10 or Jane Scott?
Have you heard about Claire Perry not knowing that her Coaltion Government was cutting a grant to Wiltshire Council to fund the centres throughout Wiltshire for disabled children, No one told me, she claimed. This from the superwoman Tory MP. And she is meant to represent us. The amount is only a few thousand - it could come from the extra money the Conservatives voted for themselves a week or so back. Who should Madame Claire lobby - Number 10 or Jane Scott? Friend of the People
  • Score: 4

9:46am Sat 15 Feb 14

kimcrawley says...

Claire Perry, the MP who thinks it would bring jobs to this area by combining Wiltshire and Dorset fire brigades.
In the light of the flooding does she think that people in Dorset would be happy with a control centre in Devizes. Imagine what people in Devizes would say to a control centre in Bridgwater.
How long will it be before an expensive consultant advises the ambulance service to decentralise in order to optimise local knowledge?
Claire Perry, the MP who thinks it would bring jobs to this area by combining Wiltshire and Dorset fire brigades. In the light of the flooding does she think that people in Dorset would be happy with a control centre in Devizes. Imagine what people in Devizes would say to a control centre in Bridgwater. How long will it be before an expensive consultant advises the ambulance service to decentralise in order to optimise local knowledge? kimcrawley
  • Score: 4

4:02pm Sun 16 Feb 14

grahame says...

Tomdog wrote:
The subsidised Trans Wilts Rail Service forms part of Wiltshire Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund project.

Funding for the project comes after the council successfully bid for a Department for Transport (DfT) grant of £4.25m, which will support the improved service for three years.

We have just wasted £4.25 million on subsidy for a train service from Westbury to Swindon for a few passengers probably cheaper to buy them a car each. Now we taking subsidy away from local bus services. Plus the other services cut I think we have wasted £4.25 million on rail service subsidy.
The LSTF grant is extra money from central government, and can only be spent on the things for which it was awarded. So if it's not spent for those purposes, it's not spent in Wiltshire at all. And what is it being spend on? Only a minority of it goes into supporting the train service for the initial period - other elements go into things like supporting the local bus services that link into the train at Salisbury, Warminster and Melksham. Tomdog - have you read the LSTF documentation, or are you commenting based on headlines?

A quick calculation, based on projected journeys per year (and we're busier than projected in spite of the awful weather in the first couple of months of the service) shows that it would have been over ten times more expensive to "buy them a car each". And that assumes that all the travellers would be able to drive, would be able to afford a car, would have somewhere to keep it, would be able to save up to replace it in due course ....

Please come along to Melksham Town Hall at 19:30 on 28th, Tomdog - there's a public meeting of the Melksham Railway Development Group and we'll happily take you through the figures.
[quote][p][bold]Tomdog[/bold] wrote: The subsidised Trans Wilts Rail Service forms part of Wiltshire Council’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund project. Funding for the project comes after the council successfully bid for a Department for Transport (DfT) grant of £4.25m, which will support the improved service for three years. We have just wasted £4.25 million on subsidy for a train service from Westbury to Swindon for a few passengers probably cheaper to buy them a car each. Now we taking subsidy away from local bus services. Plus the other services cut I think we have wasted £4.25 million on rail service subsidy.[/p][/quote]The LSTF grant is extra money from central government, and can only be spent on the things for which it was awarded. So if it's not spent for those purposes, it's not spent in Wiltshire at all. And what is it being spend on? Only a minority of it goes into supporting the train service for the initial period - other elements go into things like supporting the local bus services that link into the train at Salisbury, Warminster and Melksham. Tomdog - have you read the LSTF documentation, or are you commenting based on headlines? A quick calculation, based on projected journeys per year (and we're busier than projected in spite of the awful weather in the first couple of months of the service) shows that it would have been over ten times more expensive to "buy them a car each". And that assumes that all the travellers would be able to drive, would be able to afford a car, would have somewhere to keep it, would be able to save up to replace it in due course .... Please come along to Melksham Town Hall at 19:30 on 28th, Tomdog - there's a public meeting of the Melksham Railway Development Group and we'll happily take you through the figures. grahame
  • Score: 4

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