Councillors to publicly scrutinise budget plans in ‘special meeting’ next week
Wrexham Council’s budget proposals will be publicly scrutinised by councillors next week following calls for further information on what some of the cuts will entail.
Members of the Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee will have the chance to question and debate elements of the budget, which outlines proposals to save £13 million between 2018/2020.
As readers of Wrexham.com will be aware Wrexham Council’s Difficult Decisions public consultation closed on Thursday evening, however all the responses will now be collated and fed back to councillors at an all members workshop later this month. It will then go before the Executive Board on 9 January 2018.
The ‘special meeting’, which will be held on Monday 4 December, is one of two about the budget scheduled to take place this month. It comes after three topic request forms to examine the budget proposals put forward by Plaid Cymru councillors were backed by members of the individual committees.
Although councillors had the opportunity at October’s Executive Board to question the proposals put forward in the Difficult Decisions consultation, there had been concerns raised by several councillors that there wasn’t enough detail for some of the savings put forward.
There have also been several all member workshops held about the budget, however these have all been in private. This was one of the comments raised by councillors whilst considering the topic request forms, with some pointing out that maybe more scrutiny of future budgets should be done in public meetings rather than behind closed doors.
A total of 24 proposals in the Difficult Decisions document falls within the remit of the Homes and Environment committee – including a charge of £30 for additional green waste collections, review of allotment fees, increase of crematorium charges and revoking the free off street parking for Blue Badge holders.
Back in November when the topic request was put forward, there were questions over the ‘lack of information’ for some of the proposals, with calls from councillors to ‘put more meat on the bones’ and make some of the details clearer.
Speaking at the time Cllr Carrie Harper, who submitted the topic request form, said: “My concern is around the fact that some proposals are one line, there’s not a lot of information. As lead member you have sanctioned to this consultations, I made assumptions that the information was available.
“I would expect more than one line. Surely there is more information you can provide in terms of detail and implications for a better understanding?”
The meeting will take place at 11am on Monday 4 December at the Guildhall. The meeting is open to the public for those who wish to sit in the public gallery and view the debate. It will not be webcast on the council website.
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