New row over City of York Council’s ‘rainy day’ fund

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

CITY leaders have been accused of trying to stockpile “rainy day” cash at the expense of front-line services.

City of York Council’s budget for the next two years will be decided at a Guildhall meeting tonight.

The ruling Labour group’s proposals include putting an extra £1.1 million into the authority’s General Fund reserves, currently containing £6.39 million.

The Liberal Democrat group has proposed lowering this by £400,000 in 2013/14, and also highlighted £34 million held by the council in “earmarked” reserves for areas such as housing and service delivery.

Coun Carol Runciman, the group’s leader, said: “Many residents will find it shocking that Labour are planning to put this money into reserves while planning to increase council tax by 1.9 per cent and cutting services such as libraries, road repairs and adult social care.

“With £40 million in the bank, this does not make sense.

“While the council needs to maintain a certain level of reserves and some of these, such as schools, must be protected, Labour’s increase would take the General Fund level well above the recommended minimum.

“We should be saving for a rainy day, but it is raining now.”

But Coun James Alexander, the authority leader, said reserve funds for areas such as housing and schools could not legally be used for other purposes.

He said while they were in power the Lib Dems had “dwindled reserves” from £11 million in 2008 to the legal £6 million minimum and had since regularly shifted their stance over whether their levels were too high or low.

Coun Alexander said: “It is a serious risk to the council not to have adequate reserves to respond to events which cannot be predicted, and the Lib Dems’ management of this was grossly irresponsible.”

Comments (6)

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9:20am Thu 28 Feb 13

meme says...

Nothing is ''shocking'' with this bunch in power!
They waste money hand over fist in times of hardship, stifle devlopment yet pursue vanity projects with a vengance regardless of cost.
Its terrible what's going on and we all pay for it
Nothing is ''shocking'' with this bunch in power! They waste money hand over fist in times of hardship, stifle devlopment yet pursue vanity projects with a vengance regardless of cost. Its terrible what's going on and we all pay for it meme
  • Score: 0

9:30am Thu 28 Feb 13

Alpha Kenny Thing says...

It's not raining, it's a bloody downpour!
It's not raining, it's a bloody downpour! Alpha Kenny Thing
  • Score: 0

9:39am Thu 28 Feb 13

capt spaulding says...

We may have another trip to Paris.
Got to find the money from somewhere.
We may have another trip to Paris. Got to find the money from somewhere. capt spaulding
  • Score: 0

10:32am Thu 28 Feb 13

Big Bad Wolf says...

capt spaulding wrote:
We may have another trip to Paris.
Got to find the money from somewhere.
Indeed, you can never tell when an international event will need to pass through the city and require funding to do it as well.
[quote][p][bold]capt spaulding[/bold] wrote: We may have another trip to Paris. Got to find the money from somewhere.[/p][/quote]Indeed, you can never tell when an international event will need to pass through the city and require funding to do it as well. Big Bad Wolf
  • Score: 0

11:44am Thu 28 Feb 13

Northern bloke says...

I'm amazed people are amazed. It's typical of this underhand local gvt. Got to have cash for trips. The cash will suddenly appear again when elections are due in the hope we have short memories, and they can fund things that get them re elected.
Spend it for the good of the residents. Increase council tax if more is needed. You only get what you pay for. Stop playing with people's lives.
I'm amazed people are amazed. It's typical of this underhand local gvt. Got to have cash for trips. The cash will suddenly appear again when elections are due in the hope we have short memories, and they can fund things that get them re elected. Spend it for the good of the residents. Increase council tax if more is needed. You only get what you pay for. Stop playing with people's lives. Northern bloke
  • Score: 0

2:49pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Garrowby Turnoff says...

From the next story...
A MAJOR £20,000 fundraising campaign has swung into operation to fund an extra emergency resuscitation bed in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of York Hospital
I wonder if.....
From the next story... [quote]A MAJOR £20,000 fundraising campaign has swung into operation to fund an extra emergency resuscitation bed in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of York Hospital[/quote]I wonder if..... Garrowby Turnoff
  • Score: 0

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