County council budget

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  • Central government has told Oxfordshire County Council to cut its budget by £61m over the next four years.
  • The council has found savings of £64m in its budget which will be discussed by its cabinet at 2pm today.
  • This includes a controversial £1.5m cut in homelessness services and cuts in support for charities, theatres and advice centres.

3:35pm

Council budget has been agreed.

3:34pm

David Nimmo Smith, cabinet member for transport, has asked the public to "bear with us" as they attempt to deal with the road network on less money.

3:32pm

Melinda Tilley, cabinet member for education, said: "each cabinet member is fighting their corner for what they think is important and for me that is safeguarding children and it doesn't come cheap."

3:29pm

Rodney Rose, the council's deputy leader, said: "anybody who wants one of their savings stopped has to identify where the money comes from because I don't know"

3:26pm

Council leader Ian Hudspeth says the council has a "difficult level of uncertainty" because the government may lower the limit on increasing council tax - currently two per cent. A local referendum would have to be held if a higher increase is wanted.

3:21pm

David Dodds, of Oxfordshire Waste Partnership, has urged the county council not to withdraw funding from it as it "does not add up".

3:10pm

Mr Fatemian says there is an increasing demand on adult social services, creating a "double whammy".

3:08pm

He says the council's government funding will have gone down by £90m since 2010\11 and says "there are no longer any easy savings"

3:05pm

"For every pound that we don't save somewhere we have to raise that pound or save it somewhere else," he said.

3:02pm

Arash Fatemian, the cabinet member for finance, begins introducing the budget and praises the "levels of dedication and strength of feeling" among the protesters.

2:58pm

Susy Drohan of Oxfordshire Welfare Rights tells the cabinet: "it is absolutely vital that the council remains committed to the fact that people in Oxfordshire remain advised of their rights"

2:47pm

Emily Houghton says she is "disgusted" that the council is considering cutting funding for advice centres.

2:43pm

Kevin Kennedy tells the cabinet homeless people "come from different backgrounds but all have the same support needs"

2:37pm

Labour county councillor Nick Hards tells the cabinet the most vulnerable - such as the homeless - need to be protected.

2:21pm

She has told the cabinet one in 10 people become homeless at some point in their lives and the funding is needed to help people out of homelessness.

2:19pm

Lesley Dewhurst of Oxford Homeless Pathway tells the cabinet why it should not cut funding for homelessness. The audience applauds as she finishes.

2:14pm

David Hipkiss is urging the cabinet not to go ahead with its changes to home to school transport as he present a petition with more than 4,000 signatures. This issue to be considered by the cabinet next week.

2:05pm

The meeting is starting with questions from county councillors. Zoe Patrick has asked about free infant school meals while Glynis Phillips is asking about public health contracts.

2:01pm

Council leader Ian Hudspeth is starting the meeting - though he has to sort it the microphone feedback first.

12:37pm

Protesters are gathering outside County Hall in Oxford to demonstrate against Oxfordshire County Council's planned cuts to homelessness services and advice centres.

Comments (6)

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12:48pm Tue 28 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

I hope the county council have staff out there to distribute voluntary donation forms to the protesters.

It would give clear feedback on the depth of feeling over the rebasing of fund distribution if the protesters were to offer to donate a considerable sum of money towards their own cause.
I hope the county council have staff out there to distribute voluntary donation forms to the protesters. It would give clear feedback on the depth of feeling over the rebasing of fund distribution if the protesters were to offer to donate a considerable sum of money towards their own cause. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -3

3:13pm Tue 28 Jan 14

mytaxes says...

If they care enough to protest they should care enough to give voluntary contributions. Problem is that many do not pay council tax.
If they care enough to protest they should care enough to give voluntary contributions. Problem is that many do not pay council tax. mytaxes
  • Score: 0

12:16am Wed 29 Jan 14

alu355 says...

No one likes cuts but the best way to use your time and energy is to come up with alternatives rather than just protesting about them.
No one likes cuts but the best way to use your time and energy is to come up with alternatives rather than just protesting about them. alu355
  • Score: 0

10:02am Wed 29 Jan 14

bella_pecas says...

If any of you had taken any real interest in the protest before slandering it's motives, you'll find that firstly, these people DO voluntarily give money to these services. In fact many of the people at the protest work for the homeless services in the city, and dedicate their lives to them. If that's not giving enough I don't know what is. Secondly, many of the homeless people if Oxford were alongside us.
Additionally, other people there, local residents or students, do give monthly donations to services, or fundraise for them. The point is, these few good people cannot support us when government bodies pull the rug from under us.
If any of you had taken any real interest in the protest before slandering it's motives, you'll find that firstly, these people DO voluntarily give money to these services. In fact many of the people at the protest work for the homeless services in the city, and dedicate their lives to them. If that's not giving enough I don't know what is. Secondly, many of the homeless people if Oxford were alongside us. Additionally, other people there, local residents or students, do give monthly donations to services, or fundraise for them. The point is, these few good people cannot support us when government bodies pull the rug from under us. bella_pecas
  • Score: 1

10:04am Wed 29 Jan 14

bella_pecas says...

Statistics also show, that £1 spent on homeless services saves approx £3 for other budgets, for example health care and policing.

Maybe now you're a bit better informed.
Statistics also show, that £1 spent on homeless services saves approx £3 for other budgets, for example health care and policing. Maybe now you're a bit better informed. bella_pecas
  • Score: 1

12:09pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

bella_pecas wrote:
Statistics also show, that £1 spent on homeless services saves approx £3 for other budgets, for example health care and policing.

Maybe now you're a bit better informed.
So if 40% tax payers give £1 to an Oxford Homeless charity...

That's equivalent to a £4.20 saving.

Better get those direct donations in.
[quote][p][bold]bella_pecas[/bold] wrote: Statistics also show, that £1 spent on homeless services saves approx £3 for other budgets, for example health care and policing. Maybe now you're a bit better informed.[/p][/quote]So if 40% tax payers give £1 to an Oxford Homeless charity... That's equivalent to a £4.20 saving. Better get those direct donations in. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

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