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Harrogate Borough Councils Budget - 2018

March 26, 2018 2:24 PM
By Pat Marsh

budget

Dear Editor

I would like to respond to Councillor Cooper's recent comments on Harrogate Borough Councils budget. The budget, put together by the Officers of the Council, was a balanced budget with little room for maneuver. With the Conservative Government still squeezing Local Authority budgets delivering local services has become increasingly difficult, especially for services that the Council does not need to do, like Sport and Leisure and Parks and Gardens. My Group's priority has always to make sure that those discretionary services are maintained and would certainly not support any budget that impacted on those.

As Lib Dems we could have played party politics with the budget and just voted against it, however due to the composition of the Council, 37 Conservatives and 10 Liberal Democrats, we would not have won the vote and would have gained nothing.What I, as Leader of the Lib Dems, have sought to do is to see what compromises can be achieved. With that approach over the last couple of years we have succeeded in getting concessions on pest control, maintaining the Community Chest, gained a review of Night Marshalls, retaining grass cutting for the rural areas, reducing burial and cremation charges by 1%. Gaining concessions which benefit residents is something worth achieving and crucial when the Council sets its Budget.

Regards

Cllr Pat Marsh (Leader of the Liberal Democrats Harrogate Borough Council)