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A Good Budget For Warwickshire

February 7, 2007 4:49 PM

Warwickshire County Council LogoIn a historic vote for the Warwickshire County Council budget yesterday evening, all three political groups (Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat) set aside their differences to agree a common consensus budget.

The Lib Dem priorities for this year's budget setting process were:

  • Independence, well-being and choice
  • Supporting and empowering and young people
  • Safer and greener communities
  • Accessibility to transport

After more than 9 hours of debating and negotiating, a composite budget for 2007/08 was finally agreed by all three political groups. The council tax increase to fund the budget will be 4.91%, which takes the payment on a band D property to £1045.21 for 2007/08 - an increase of 94 pence per week.

The Liberal Democrat Group successfully negotiated on their priorities and managed to get the following key allocations included in the budget resolution:

  • An allocation of £4.5 million to adult social services to meet the increased costs from rising client numbers and demographic changes.
  • An allocation of £50,000 to fund arts-for-health projects in each area of the county. We recognise that arts and cultural projects can help improve the health and well-being of Warwickshire's most vulnerable residents whilst at the same time promote community development and partnership working.
  • An allocation of £350,000 to support the increased demand for leaving care services and to support the implementation of the Corporate Parenting Strategy.
  • An allocation of £50,000 to support the growing pressures on the Education Social Work Service.
  • An allocation of £300,000 to support the roll out of Enhanced Support Services across the county. This will help improve outcomes for children and enable early intervention to help prevent families from reaching crisis point.
  • An allocation of £15,000 to fund 2 part-time sessional workers to assist with delivering the teenage pregnancy strategy. They will specifically work with young men, offering one-to-one support and group sessions on contraception and sexual health concerns.
  • An allocation of £100,000 to develop the Integrated Disability Service and provide a more coordinated, multi-agency approach to the support of disabled children with complex needs.
  • An allocation of £25,000 to Warwickshire's Area Youth Forums for spending on projects and initiatives aimed at empowering disaffected and disenfranchised young people.
  • An allocation of £100,000 to develop the Domestic Violence Advice Service and to support the Swanswell Trust who provide vital alcohol advice and support to people who are concerned about their own drinking or that of a family member, friend or colleague.
  • An allocation of £100,000 to Warwickshire's Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships to develop Neighbourhood Watch schemes around the county.
  • An allocation of £6,000 to each Area Committee Social Inclusion Fund to tackle nuisance youth and anti-social behaviour issues.

Councillor Jerry Roodhouse, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said:

"We're pleased with the final outcome and believe that we have a good budget for the people of Warwickshire. I'm encouraged to see many of our key priorities, such as work to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies, money for the Area Youth Forums, money for developing Neighbourhood Watch schemes, and investment in local arts-for-health projects through the Area Committees, being included in the budget".

The County Council press release on the budget can be accessed here:

http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/corporate/newsstor.nsf/PublicByCategories/7A335B08BE61ADD18025727A006D1D04