Today I took our Cabinet to Wisbech. It went very well. The big item was our budget. It has taken a lot of hard work to put together a balanced budget against a backdrop of reducing funding and a huge increase in demand.
I introduced the paper and then asked each Cabinet member to speak to their own portfolio budget proposals. The budget has been put together by the politicians and the details underpinned by officers. My thanks to both Cabinet and officers for all the hard work.
We have a balanced budget for this year but it is getting increasingly difficult to achieve the significant savings required from future years.
Not much evidence of any significant ideas from the Lib Dems nor any sign of any alternative budget. I understand that the Lib Dems are keen to build a brand new shiney county hall and would like to re-instate a global warming team ( we disbanded in favour of spending that money on adult social care ).
Informally I understand that they actually agree with our budget and are struggling to present something different. Lets make sure that all proposals are costed and the money tree doesn’t appear.
Other items at Cabinet included our new Cambridge Science Park Station. This has full support from everyone that I speak to. Lib Dem local member, Ian Manning, is playing an active role in representing local residents and is taking a sensible approach to working with my Cabinet to get the very best outcomes from this fantastic project.
Interestingly, Clare Blair ( ex City Councillor ) ( ex Lib Dem now Labour ) seems to be trying to work around Ian rather than with him. The trouble is Clare seems to be getting much of this wrong. I wonder if an election is looming. Perhaps Clare has an eye on Ian’s seat.