Coun­cil­lors pat them­selves on back for ‘near per­fect’ bud­get

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Setting A Budget - By Vicky Cas­tle

Coun­cil­lors have dubbed the lat­est bud­get ‘close to per­fect’ af­ter just one res­i­dent re­sponded to the con­sul­ta­tion.

Res­i­dents were in­vited to have their say on Ash­ford Bor­ough Coun­cil’s (ABC) plans for the next fi­nan­cial year in a bor­ough­wide con­sul­ta­tion.

But just a soli­tary res­i­dent replied to the pro­pos­als on the draft, leav­ing coun­cil­lors to be­lieve their work is as good as it gets.

At a Cabi­net meet­ing last Thurs­day, Cllr Neil Shorter, ABC port­fo­lio holder for fi­nance, said: “I would like to ex­press a de­gree of dis­ap­point­ment that for the whole of the bor­ough we have had one com­ment.

“I rea­son from this, that ev­ery­one is de­lighted with the bud­get.”

Deputy coun­cil leader, Cllr Neil Bell, added: “No one has rung in to com­plain about the draft bud­get and that’s about as good as it gets.

“It is tes­ta­ment that we are close to per­fect, I think.

“It’s great that we are de­liver- ing proper ser­vices in a great way.

“Pre­vi­ous Cabi­net re­ports have in­di­cated that the coun­cil is in a strong po­si­tion fi­nan­cially, through its pol­icy of good as­set man­age­ment, plan­ning ahead and in­vest­ing in long-term as­sets that pro­duce a net in­come.

“Our approach is to earn money through our com­mer­cial approach, rather than just tak­ing

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk from cen­tral gov­ern­ment or our res­i­dents. These as­sets are giv­ing our fi­nances re­silience, en­abling us to de­liver our ser­vices across the whole of the bor­ough.

“This shrewd approach, in­clud­ing the com­mer­cial agree­ment reached on El­wick Place, is pre­cisely what is needed in the cur­rent fi­nan­cial cli­mate.”

The lat­est draft bud­get pro­pos­als, which are for the year from April 2017 to March 2018, were ap­proved by Cabi­net mem­bers and will be dis­cussed at the full coun­cil meet­ing tonight (Thurs­day) at the Civic Of­fices.

Cllr Neil Bell, bud­get is as good as it gets

Cllr Neil Shorter be­lieves ev­ery­one is happy

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