The Conservatives at Somerset County Council continue to get their finances wrong at your expense
The fairytale continues at Somerset County Council. The Tory Cabinet approved the revenue budget outturn [11/06/18] showing a continuing overspend of more than £2million with no clear plan of how to address that. The financial pain has been taken by services like roads, public transport, libraries and support services to cover a £13 million overspend in Children's Services.
Leader of the Lib Dems at SCC, Jane Lock, said ‘’SCC has thrown money at their inadequate children's services to ensure a better Ofsted rating, now they have reached the heady heights of requires improvement this has become a juggernaut that cannot be stopped. Without spending even more to support services for children and families there will be a swift deterioration, unfortunately there have been too many quick fixes and the result is a £13 million overspend which simply cannot be addressed.’’
The Cabinet have neither the vision nor the conviction to succeed in this, having starved the base budget by £26million a year by not raising Council tax by a modest amount for 7 years, they cannot balance the books and are running headlong into becoming the next Northampton and going bust. They are facing a multimillion-pound legal challenge over staff transferred out, the Chief Finance Officer has resigned after 31 years and is being replaced by an interim at more than £6000 a week - despite a freeze on recruitment for essential frontline staff such as social workers!