Scilly’s Council Balances Books For Next Financial Year

town hall 4The Council has balanced its books for the next financial year.

Head of Finance, Iain McCulloch, told yesterday’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting that the authority has successfully addressed the previously identified funding shortfall.

Committee Chairmen had looked at the impact of budget cuts, ranging from 7.5% to 15% and around £400,000 worth of savings have been found.

£150,000 has come from not recruiting to all Town Hall vacancies, although Iain warned that would mean an increased workload of some staff.

He explained that the Council has successfully negotiated with the government, so the cuts to Scilly’s overall funding package was just under 1%. Many mainland Councils faced much bigger reductions, Iain told members.

Overall the total resources of the Council, including grants, government cash and Council tax income, will rise by 1.2% to £101,000. That gives the authority an annual budget of around £8.2m, which includes £3.1m for education.

Iain’s finance report explained that members had to consider what they could afford to do. He suggested that, instead of making a shopping list and then finding that they don’t have enough money to buy everything on the list, councillors should work out their shopping list based on what money they have available.

Cllr Richard McCarthy commended the work, saying it offered “breathing space” for the newly appointed Chief Executive and councillors.

They can now decide what can be done, although Iain warned that a drop in income was forecast for the following year, so members needed to be vigilant.

At the start of the meeting, Cllr Gaz O’Neill was appointed the new Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee.

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