Councillor says budget makes it harder to dispose of rubbish but easier for criminals


Council Leader says these are just proposals which could change as a result of consultation feedback

The Leader of the Labour Group at Cherwell District Council has criticized the next year’s proposed council budget saying it makes it harder to dispose of your rubbish but easier for criminals.

Councillor Sean Woodcock was speaking at a Budget Planning meeting on Tuesday.   Councillors were being led through the detail of how the Council plans to balance its books next year.

As we reported last week savings of £1.5 million are needed at Cherwell to produce a legally acceptable budget.   A number of measures internally have closed the gap by £1.2million but a further £300,000 of savings are required.

The Council proposed reducing its costs by introducing charges for replacement bins and food caddies and a £5 Band D increase in Cherwell’s portion of the Council Tax.   The toilets at Banbury bus station could also be closed as part of cost cutting measures, along with extra charges for bulky waste collections.

Councillors from the ruling Conservative group described the thought process behind each suggestion.

After hearing about the proposals Councillor Woodcock said: “I’m looking at all of these in the round and seeing its harder, or more expensive, to get your rubbish taken away, harder to spend a penny, and easier to commit crime because there’s less CCTV.   Do the administration think it’s worth it?”

In reply Conservative Council leader Barry Wood quipped: “I’m pleased to hear a forerunner of Councillor Woodcock’s forthcoming election leaflets this early.   It’s excellent!”

Councillor Wood reminded other members that the Council had to produce a budget that balanced income and expenditure and invited suggestions of other ways to achieve that.

He added: “These are our proposals for consultation and it could be, as has happened in the past, as a result of good quality, common sense feedback from the consultation, they don’t actually make it onto the statutes book in February.”

The budget is currently out for public consultation and will then be discussed by Cherwell’s Executive in January 2024 before being passed in February.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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