LAST week’s Eastbourne Herald reported my comments to cabinet when it formally approved the council’s proposed budget for the next financial year.
I spoke, not in a political capacity but as chairman of scrutiny committee, which had debated the proposals prior to the cabinet meeting.
However, I was incorrectly reported. The report stated that I, ”questioned Conservative inflation forecasts for the coming years...”
Given that the report is about the Liberal Democrat administration’s budget and their estimates for the coming year, your reporter either appears to have misunderstood my comments and thinks that Conservatives are leading the council, or has made a factual mistake.
Reading the report appears to give the impression that Conservatives were involved in putting forward the budget papers which was certainly not the case.
The council’s medium term financial strategy forecasts a zero increase for 2012/2013, and the report in question suggests a level of 2.5 per cent.
The point that I was making to the cabinet was that current levels of inflation are much higher than either of those local forecast and on that basis are far too conservative and add to the risks for the council in the future – latest figures this week indicate increases to, either four per cent or 5.1 per cent depending on which forecast you take.
The role of the scrutiny committee is to challenge the administration on its policies, not in a political way, but on behalf of residents in order to ensure that its plans meet the needs of local residents.
Cllr Graham Marsden chairman of the
Eastbourne Borough Council
Editor’s note: The reporter correctly reported the meeting, but his use of the word ‘conservative’ was accidentally changed to ‘Conservative’ by another, over-zealous, member of staff. We apologise for any confusion.