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Read more on this

And the Council Tax increase in Wokingham is………

by Prue Bray on 19 February, 2010

1.9%.

Lower than in recent years, which in these difficult times will be welcome to a lot of residents.  However, something extraordinary happened at the budget-setting meeting.  The Tories have put together a budget which leaves out some of the things they know they are going to be spending money on.  Instead of putting the money in the budget, they announced they will be finding the money later in the year – through a supplementary estimate.  Now supplementary estimates exist to give councils a mechanism to add money to the spending budget so that they can cope with something unexpected.   The money that is added comes out of the council’s reserve funds, which are, as the name suggests, there to be a reserve in case of emergency.    The idea that you can actually PLAN to raid the reserves because you are deliberately setting an inadequate budget is, to say the least, unusual.   What would you do if there was a real emergency?

The alternative to raiding the reserves would be cuts elsewhere.  Who knows where the axe might fall if they were to decide to go down that route?

Why might the Tories have done this?  Well, the extra money is probably going to amount to several hundred thousand pounds.  So if it was actually put into the budget now, it would have made the Council Tax increase considerably higher than 1.9%.    I wonder, could that possibly be the reason?

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