Somerset County Council leader: Budget is best we could do

John Osman, leader of Somerset County Council.

John Osman, leader of Somerset County Council.

First published in News by

LEADER of Somerset County Council John Osman says he’s confident the authority has produced the “best possible” budget for the forthcoming year.

Councillors last week voted 32 to 21 in favour of the budget, which plans to make £16million of savings from crucial areas including youth and environmental services.

The budget has come under fire from the Liberal Democrats, but Cllr Osman said: “We had some tough decisions to make due to a significant reduction in Government funding but I’m confident that we’ve delivered the best possible budget for Somerset in the present circumstances.”

A plan for £38million investment in roads and schools and a council tax freeze for the fourth year running are also part of the spending plans.

A last-minute windfall of £771,000 Government cash also meant original savings plans were changed at the Full Council meeting.

Cllr Osman added: “Unfortunately, as there was a budget deficit of £20million owing to the Government reducing the councils grant, some savings needed to be made.

“No politician enters local Government wishing to make savings, however, our saving proposals were made after we were informed we had received massive cuts from central Government.”

An alternative budget proposed by the Liberal Democrats was dismissed by the ruling Tory group.

And Sam Crabb, leader of the Liberal Democrats, commented: “This budget shows how the Conservatives are completely out of touch about what the people of Somerset need and deserve.

“I find it astounding they can justify slashing the budget on so many key services while having recently spent £4million on office refurbishment, spending money on £800-a-day consultants and thousands on legal fees after trying to close libraries.

“The residents of Somerset deserve far better than they are currently getting, we need to be putting the needs of our communities first.”

Tax file:

TAXPAYERS in average Band D homes in Taunton Deane will see their annual council tax bills rise by less than £2.

The overall Band D bill goes up from £1,404.44 to £1,405.91 - a rise of £1.47.

Only one of the four authorities which levy council tax has chosen to increase their share of the overall bill.

Here is a breakdown of the bill:

  • Avon and Somerset Police - £168.03 (no change).
  • Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service - £75.39 (up from £73.92)
  • Taunton Deane Council - £135.19 (no change)
  • Somerset County Council - £1,027.30 (no change).

West Somerset Council was last night (February 27) expected to announce a rise of 3.7% from £132.90 to £137.82.

Comments (11)

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11:23am Thu 28 Feb 13

CappoKid says...

Don't worry, they will be gone after the May elections...hopefull
y. The people of Somerset do deserve better, but don't complain about a Tory Council when people should know what there like, they only look after there own. You only have to look at what Central Government are like. If the Tories had there way they would scrap Local Government, they have never liked it. The public gets what the public wants.....
Don't worry, they will be gone after the May elections...hopefull y. The people of Somerset do deserve better, but don't complain about a Tory Council when people should know what there like, they only look after there own. You only have to look at what Central Government are like. If the Tories had there way they would scrap Local Government, they have never liked it. The public gets what the public wants..... CappoKid
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Armchairdetectives?! says...

cappoKid, you may want to learn how to spell before making such sweeping ignorant comments :D have a nice day
cappoKid, you may want to learn how to spell before making such sweeping ignorant comments :D have a nice day Armchairdetectives?!
  • Score: 0

1:28pm Thu 28 Feb 13

topcataj says...

I wouldn't mind seeing them gone either, just don't know who can do any better. The Lib Dems plan to magic extra money out of thin air and who can trust any of the main parties anyway?

Considering the balance of power in Somerset and the national reputation hit the Lib Dems have had since the coalition government was formed, I really wouldn't be surprised if the Tories retain control and potentially take more of it, despite everything they've done.
I wouldn't mind seeing them gone either, just don't know who can do any better. The Lib Dems plan to magic extra money out of thin air and who can trust any of the main parties anyway? Considering the balance of power in Somerset and the national reputation hit the Lib Dems have had since the coalition government was formed, I really wouldn't be surprised if the Tories retain control and potentially take more of it, despite everything they've done. topcataj
  • Score: 0

2:58pm Thu 28 Feb 13

CappoKid says...

There is nothing sweeping in that.This is just my opinion. Why ignorant?.If you want me to be sweeping you could say there all as bad as each other really!!..
There is nothing sweeping in that.This is just my opinion. Why ignorant?.If you want me to be sweeping you could say there all as bad as each other really!!.. CappoKid
  • Score: 0

3:58pm Thu 28 Feb 13

FreeSpeech? says...

Armchairdetectives?! wrote:
cappoKid, you may want to learn how to spell before making such sweeping ignorant comments :D have a nice day
Well said, wonder who else he had in mind to elect as Labour got us into this mess so no hope there then.
[quote][p][bold]Armchairdetectives?![/bold] wrote: cappoKid, you may want to learn how to spell before making such sweeping ignorant comments :D have a nice day[/p][/quote]Well said, wonder who else he had in mind to elect as Labour got us into this mess so no hope there then. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: 0

11:46am Fri 1 Mar 13

Slow down! says...

I see they've got extra cash to spend so that Parking attendants have motorbikes and pushbikes, watch out in East reach as they hide away waiting for the next unfortunate soul to park to spend money in local struggling businesses.
I see they've got extra cash to spend so that Parking attendants have motorbikes and pushbikes, watch out in East reach as they hide away waiting for the next unfortunate soul to park to spend money in local struggling businesses. Slow down!
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Sun 3 Mar 13

mansell5 says...

For goodness sake CappoKid, it's 'they're', not 'there'!
For goodness sake CappoKid, it's 'they're', not 'there'! mansell5
  • Score: 0

10:49am Mon 4 Mar 13

Mi_Coc says...

Slow down! wrote:
I see they've got extra cash to spend so that Parking attendants have motorbikes and pushbikes, watch out in East reach as they hide away waiting for the next unfortunate soul to park to spend money in local struggling businesses.
They are now part of a private company nothing to do with the council. I am told they had to be subbed out as they because of some issues with the way they were operating. Hence why they have new uniform scooters and now display actually no judgement at all its all about issuing tickets. They have been told to ignore signs in cars like midwife on call and not to make enquiries as to get it moved. Its a numbers game now and some of them thinks its a game. They are fast losing the respect of many local business by not interacting with people and being part of the community. Just issuing tickets for the sake anywhere they think they can get away with it!
[quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: I see they've got extra cash to spend so that Parking attendants have motorbikes and pushbikes, watch out in East reach as they hide away waiting for the next unfortunate soul to park to spend money in local struggling businesses.[/p][/quote]They are now part of a private company nothing to do with the council. I am told they had to be subbed out as they because of some issues with the way they were operating. Hence why they have new uniform scooters and now display actually no judgement at all its all about issuing tickets. They have been told to ignore signs in cars like midwife on call and not to make enquiries as to get it moved. Its a numbers game now and some of them thinks its a game. They are fast losing the respect of many local business by not interacting with people and being part of the community. Just issuing tickets for the sake anywhere they think they can get away with it! Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

11:57am Mon 4 Mar 13

*Flick* says...

Mi_Coc wrote:
Slow down! wrote: I see they've got extra cash to spend so that Parking attendants have motorbikes and pushbikes, watch out in East reach as they hide away waiting for the next unfortunate soul to park to spend money in local struggling businesses.
They are now part of a private company nothing to do with the council. I am told they had to be subbed out as they because of some issues with the way they were operating. Hence why they have new uniform scooters and now display actually no judgement at all its all about issuing tickets. They have been told to ignore signs in cars like midwife on call and not to make enquiries as to get it moved. Its a numbers game now and some of them thinks its a game. They are fast losing the respect of many local business by not interacting with people and being part of the community. Just issuing tickets for the sake anywhere they think they can get away with it!
Doing their job you mean?
If people have a genuine reason for parking without paying or where they are not permitted, they can challenge it.
I have been issued a ticket in the past and had no trouble in having it sorted as I could prove I wasn't in the wrong.
I do agree they should be more polite and part of the community etc. But they have a job to do at the end of the day, and if someone is parked where they shouldn't be then it is their own fault if they are issued a ticket.
Now before people jump down my throat, I do not mean in EVERY case as I am sure you can all come up with some over the top scenario to disagree with me... But I do mean in general ;)
[quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: I see they've got extra cash to spend so that Parking attendants have motorbikes and pushbikes, watch out in East reach as they hide away waiting for the next unfortunate soul to park to spend money in local struggling businesses.[/p][/quote]They are now part of a private company nothing to do with the council. I am told they had to be subbed out as they because of some issues with the way they were operating. Hence why they have new uniform scooters and now display actually no judgement at all its all about issuing tickets. They have been told to ignore signs in cars like midwife on call and not to make enquiries as to get it moved. Its a numbers game now and some of them thinks its a game. They are fast losing the respect of many local business by not interacting with people and being part of the community. Just issuing tickets for the sake anywhere they think they can get away with it![/p][/quote]Doing their job you mean? If people have a genuine reason for parking without paying or where they are not permitted, they can challenge it. I have been issued a ticket in the past and had no trouble in having it sorted as I could prove I wasn't in the wrong. I do agree they should be more polite and part of the community etc. But they have a job to do at the end of the day, and if someone is parked where they shouldn't be then it is their own fault if they are issued a ticket. Now before people jump down my throat, I do not mean in EVERY case as I am sure you can all come up with some over the top scenario to disagree with me... But I do mean in general ;) *Flick*
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Tue 5 Mar 13

Mi_Coc says...

*Flick* wrote:
Mi_Coc wrote:
Slow down! wrote: I see they've got extra cash to spend so that Parking attendants have motorbikes and pushbikes, watch out in East reach as they hide away waiting for the next unfortunate soul to park to spend money in local struggling businesses.
They are now part of a private company nothing to do with the council. I am told they had to be subbed out as they because of some issues with the way they were operating. Hence why they have new uniform scooters and now display actually no judgement at all its all about issuing tickets. They have been told to ignore signs in cars like midwife on call and not to make enquiries as to get it moved. Its a numbers game now and some of them thinks its a game. They are fast losing the respect of many local business by not interacting with people and being part of the community. Just issuing tickets for the sake anywhere they think they can get away with it!
Doing their job you mean?
If people have a genuine reason for parking without paying or where they are not permitted, they can challenge it.
I have been issued a ticket in the past and had no trouble in having it sorted as I could prove I wasn't in the wrong.
I do agree they should be more polite and part of the community etc. But they have a job to do at the end of the day, and if someone is parked where they shouldn't be then it is their own fault if they are issued a ticket.
Now before people jump down my throat, I do not mean in EVERY case as I am sure you can all come up with some over the top scenario to disagree with me... But I do mean in general ;)
My issue is they are now a revenue thing plain and simple.

The original purpose for these creatures was to ensure traffic flowed. Hence the original name TRAFFIC WARDEN. So getting people to move their cars from were they should not be was the purpose was the purpose and fining was . As with road fund licence the name has been changed and the original purpose to making money.

This is why there is no interaction with motorist and no community spirit its hide round the corner for 5 minutes and then appear ticket printed and ready. One weres a police stab vest he bought himself and two of the have daily competitions to see who can ticket. I agree there is a need for them but if they can get people moving rather than just print tickets and interact with the community. On the flip side I went through welly high street the other day and it was bedlam. No regular civil enforcement service and the world and his wife park all over the place and people sat in cars struggling to move., So they are a necessary evil.
[quote][p][bold]*Flick*[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Slow down![/bold] wrote: I see they've got extra cash to spend so that Parking attendants have motorbikes and pushbikes, watch out in East reach as they hide away waiting for the next unfortunate soul to park to spend money in local struggling businesses.[/p][/quote]They are now part of a private company nothing to do with the council. I am told they had to be subbed out as they because of some issues with the way they were operating. Hence why they have new uniform scooters and now display actually no judgement at all its all about issuing tickets. They have been told to ignore signs in cars like midwife on call and not to make enquiries as to get it moved. Its a numbers game now and some of them thinks its a game. They are fast losing the respect of many local business by not interacting with people and being part of the community. Just issuing tickets for the sake anywhere they think they can get away with it![/p][/quote]Doing their job you mean? If people have a genuine reason for parking without paying or where they are not permitted, they can challenge it. I have been issued a ticket in the past and had no trouble in having it sorted as I could prove I wasn't in the wrong. I do agree they should be more polite and part of the community etc. But they have a job to do at the end of the day, and if someone is parked where they shouldn't be then it is their own fault if they are issued a ticket. Now before people jump down my throat, I do not mean in EVERY case as I am sure you can all come up with some over the top scenario to disagree with me... But I do mean in general ;)[/p][/quote]My issue is they are now a revenue thing plain and simple. The original purpose for these creatures was to ensure traffic flowed. Hence the original name TRAFFIC WARDEN. So getting people to move their cars from were they should not be was the purpose was the purpose and fining was . As with road fund licence the name has been changed and the original purpose to making money. This is why there is no interaction with motorist and no community spirit its hide round the corner for 5 minutes and then appear ticket printed and ready. One weres a police stab vest he bought himself and two of the have daily competitions to see who can ticket. I agree there is a need for them but if they can get people moving rather than just print tickets and interact with the community. On the flip side I went through welly high street the other day and it was bedlam. No regular civil enforcement service and the world and his wife park all over the place and people sat in cars struggling to move., So they are a necessary evil. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

9:12am Wed 6 Mar 13

*Flick* says...

I do see your point - although as they are now run by private companies, they will have 'targets' etc. So it really has to be aimed at making money as it is a now a business as opposed to a service. Businesses need to make money.
I suppose if people just followed the rules, there would never have been a need for wardens in the first place, so it's all swings and roundabouts..
I do see your point - although as they are now run by private companies, they will have 'targets' etc. So it really has to be aimed at making money as it is a now a business as opposed to a service. Businesses need to make money. I suppose if people just followed the rules, there would never have been a need for wardens in the first place, so it's all swings and roundabouts.. *Flick*
  • Score: 0

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