District council agrees budget

Ashfield District Council offices.
Ashfield District Council offices.

Ashfield District Council approved its budget for the coming financial year, which will see cuts in services and a rise in council tax.

The budget, approved last week, includes savings of £1.1 million and a 1.94 per cent increase in council tax.

During the heated meeting, Independent Selston councillor Gail Turner, presented an alternative budget, which was rejected.

It contained no increase in council tax, provided free parking throughout Ashfield, four more CPOs and three more green space operatives.

Presenting the plans, Cllr David Shaw, portfolio for finance, said the council had been ‘uneasy’ about cutting services and jobs, blaming ‘savage Government cuts’ for the decisions.

The council spent £16 million on the people of Ashfield, £10 million of which is allocated by the Government, the rest from council tax and reserves.

The Government had announced a cut in the Revenue Support grant of 33 per cent – some £4.7 million the authority would have to find over the next five years.

During the fired up debate, Liberal Democrat Jason Zadrozny said the council had taken ‘easy decisions’ to cut funding to community groups, close leisure centres and cut wardens.

Referring to the decision to end funding to parish councils, he added: “Worst of all is the evil decision to make an 100 per cent cut to places like Selston where Labour don’t elect anybody.”