Row over who drafts budget

An argument broke out at an Eastwood Town Council meeting over who should decide next year’s budget.

Cllr Josie Forrest suggested the council form a working group with all 15 councillors to jointly decide what next year’s cash is spent on, accusing councillors in the opposite party of ‘not working together’.

But leader of the council David Bagshaw said he wanted to stick to the way it had been done it in the past, with the councillors in the ruling group deciding.

Cllr Bagshaw said: “I see no reason at this time to change the system.

“The idea of working together is brought up like it’s a new doctrine. During my speech at the beginning of the year I invited councillors to work together and we can’t keep popping in and out of this when it suits.”

Deputy leader Cllr Charlie Robb said: “The precept is now a lot less than it was and I think over the last few years this council has managed its finances really well. I don’t see why we can’t carry on as we have done in the past.”

But councillor Forrest said she thought it would be better the councillors sit round a table together.

“The reason I said working together is because this council doesn’t work together,” she said. “I don’t think it’s extraordinary what I’ve asked.”

The council decided they would all put some budget ideas down and hold a meeting to discuss them ahead of the final decisions being made.

Cllr Sue Bagshaw said: “Why can’t each side put a few ideas down and then we have a meeting to discuss things. Then we can all say what we want and all have an input.”