5 December 2022
Chris Rigby, Green Party Councillor for Winton East, says: "BCP Council have launched a budget survey, so you can have your say on what’s important to you.
"Make sure to feed back using the BCP survey, to ensure that the Conservative administration know that we need to continue to fund ALL our services.
"Regardless of whether or not you as an individual use them, someone needs them - whether it’s a library as warm welcoming space or access to the internet, access to sports and leisure facilities, or supporting schools and education.
"We’re all in this together - so make sure the Conservatives know we won’t accept cuts to valuable services as they scramble to try and balance their budget."
Conservative-run BCP Council is looking at cutting services to legal minimum levels, as well as a raft of sell-offs. They hint librarians, gardeners and youth workers could be replaced with volunteers, and say some street lights could be turned off. Meanwhile the Bournemouth Daily Echo reports it "looks almost certain" BCP residents will face a Council Tax increase in 2023/24, and that 10% hikes in all fees and charges for Council services are being planned.
This all follows a Government intervention to block the "dodgy deal" by ruling local Conservative councillors to sell off 3,605 beach huts to plug BCP's budget hole. The Government stated its concern about the "financial sustainability" of the Council, and put in special extra oversight measures. BCP Council has now asked the Government for a bailout of £76 million over three years, including £20m now. The Council's own auditors issued what the Bournemouth Echo described as a "scathing report", branding current financial sustainability arrangements as "not good enough"
You can read the full back story, with linked sources, online.