Suffolk County Council’s cabinet has formally approved the budget for the 2014/15 financial year – and it will now go to a full meeting next month.

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The budget was approved by senior council leaders on Tuesday and will see £38.6m of spending cuts across most services.

Colin Noble, cabinet member with responsibility for the budget, said the authority was taking care not to harm those who relied on its services.

He said: “We have consulted very widely on this budget, the biggest budget consultation we have ever done – and that has resulted in these proposals.”

There are changes to the way services are organised, and a saving of about £8 million in landfill taxes when the county’s incinerator – or energy from waste plant – at Great Blakenham starts operating in the middle of the year.

Mr Noble was proud that the council was honouring its pledge not to raise council taxes next year – and repeated the administration’s pledge to freeze council tax at its present level until the next elections in 2017.

Labour group leader Sandy Martin repeated his call for the council to use some of its contingency reserves to ease the pressure on some services.

He pointed out that this part of the council’s reserves was budgeted to increase from £11m to £17m next year.

However Mr Noble said the reserves held by individual departments were being cut, and the council’s overall reserves were falling.

Labour councillor Mandy Gaylard, who represents Ipswich’s St Helen’s Division, hit out at the council’s transfer of libraries: “Surveys said 80% of people wanted libraries to remain as a publicly-funded service but the county went ahead with getting rid of them.”

Mr Noble hit back, pointing out that all the county’s libraries had remained open, and they were still funded by the county although they are now run by a social enterprise.

He added that Suffolk is now developing a national reputation for local authority efficiency. Mr Noble said that six districts or boroughs in the county now shared administrations – and there were only 40 shared administrations across the county.

Council leader Mark Bee said the process of drawing up the budget had been challenging, but felt there was a wide agreement that it would protect services while cutting costs.

He said: “When I became leader three years ago I said I didn’t want to see the council run by dogma, but by consulting the people and listening to what they have to say.

“We continue to do this. The budget process involved talking to 4,000 people across the county – and the majority of them are happy with the way things are run in Suffolk.”

The budget will be finally set at the full county council meeting at Endeavour House in Ipswich on February 13.

Suffolk police looks set to freeze its element of council tax for the second year running,

The county’s Police and Crime Panel is to meet on Friday to discuss setting its precept for the next year

Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner, is to tell the panel that he is proposing to freeze council tax bills next year.

He said: “We have looked at the figures and we should get a 1pc bonus for freezing council tax – and we should also get more from the government’s innovation fund.”

He has discussed his proposed budget with chief constable Douglas Paxton who said to be happy with his proposals.

Mr Passmore said: “We have been able to put more money into front-line policing. There are now about 1,200 police officers in Suffolk which is slightly more than when I took up the role.”

By freezing its council tax for a second year running it will mean a band D property will pay £166.77 in the next year.

Suffolk police is already planning to implement savings proposals of £2.3m in 2014/15 rising to £6.1m in 2017-18 and is committed to developing plans to deliver further savings of £326,000 in 2014-15, rising to £10.4m in 2017-18.

32 comments

  • Incredible. £8 million saved by using the new incinerator. That is fantastic news indeed. I hope Eric Pickles is reading this wondeful news. Well done all those working on the budget.

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    Del Boy

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • The pro-incinerator lot couldn't muster a single credible professional to speak on their behalf yet, just like London buses, here we have two such 'people' turning up within a day or each other on the EDP comments section. Who would have ever thought it possible? How desperate can you get?

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    User Removed

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • When I studied the issue of incineration it soon became clear that in the case of King’s Lynn a burner was the only viable option. I think in the long run many who may feel in opposition now will change when they realise the many benefit’s the solution offers.

    Report this comment

    Professor Miles Radcliffe

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Classic Keyboard Warrior tactics from Jack 'D' Bancroft there - resorting to picking someone up on spelling and grammar when all avenues have (finally) been exhausted. Still, I'm sure another user ID is only seconds away from being created. We do love feeling our trolls, don't we?

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • I would tend to lean towards Dr Barrington-Smythe's comments on this. A lot of hype from campaigners about many issues but no substance. There is no real argument against an incinerator.

    Report this comment

    Percy Cuted

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • I thought you claimed he had already decided or is that to be put aside now as well? You made a public statement about being "in the know". Do make up your mind.

    Report this comment

    Jack Bantoft

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • The comments on grammar are by and large irrelevant. It`s what Pickles announces that is relevant.

    Report this comment

    democrat

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • Let's just say I wouldn't put money on it......

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    User Removed

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • All down to location and Suffolk County Council has had the sense to build the incinerator away from densely populated areas. Suffolk will be hoping the proposed incinerator at Kings Lynn does not get planning permission from Eric Pickles. They are guaranteed not to pay any penalty clauses for not supplying enough residual waste by taking part of Norfolk’s waste. If the Kings Lynn incinerator gets built more than likely both Councils will be short of feedstock and both paying penalty charges to their incinerator companies for the remaining term of the burners.

    Report this comment

    Knee deep In Toxic ash

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Pathetic, Don't is the accepted shortened form of do not. Even a ten year old could tell you that. As for research, it is a noun and therefore may be capitalised. But keep my valuable lesson about prepositions close to your scrawny chest.

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    alecto

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • The decision has been made. On environmental grounds of course.

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    democrat

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • PS Bantoft. Don't finish a sentence with a preposition. The correct construction is "I wonder to whom Alecto is related". Reseach your Greek Mythology

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • I see the anti brigade have resorted to insult as usual. I agree with Barrington Smythe. A very sensible contribution - unlike most.

    Report this comment

    Mad Dog

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • I have made a thorough and exhaustive review of the information available and my conclusion at the end of almost 2 years of research is there are no harmful effects likely as a result of using incineration in that particular area given its location and proximity to any community of significant size. The detailed examination of relevant evidence is obviously too large to enter into here but suffice to say the conclusions are overwhelming. There is absolutely nothing of concern for the public in general in my view.

    Report this comment

    Dr Barrington-Smythe

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Oh dear 'Professor'! Seeing as you weren't public-spirited enough to trot along and share the findings of your 'studies' to the Inquiry, they seem to count for naught. Still, it's good of you to let us all know about it now, almost a year after you needed to get your submission in. Maybe you just slept in?

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • Dear oh dear - obviously it's an early kick out from Downham's more salubrious clubs and bars where the over 60's are concerned tonight, given that our old friend is back after a whole day away.

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    User Removed

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • I wonder who or what alecto is related to?

    Report this comment

    Jack Bantoft

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • Your private life is your own affair alecto. PS The correct form is not "don't" - it is 'do not' and the correct spelling is 'research' and not "Reseach". Must try harder.

    Report this comment

    Jack Bantoft

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • Professor Miles Radcliffe. Is he related to Dr Erewhon Boondy. I am sure they are first cousins and studied together.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • Oh dear 'Professor'! Seeing as you weren't public-spirited enough to trot along and share the findings of your 'studies' to the Inquiry, they seem to count for naught. Still, it's good of you to let us all know about it now, almost a year after you needed to get your submission in. Maybe you just slept in?

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • They did say that building would start in March. I wonder if that is still the case?

    Report this comment

    Magwitch

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • Actually Fenscape Dr Barrington-Smythe is quite right. If you make an exhaustive study of the biased pseudo rubbish spewed out by the incinerator rabble you would think that incineration is the best thing to happen to this planet since the first coming. And building an incinerator in Kings Lynn would herald the second coming. But of course you can always read the proper science and then sit there shaking with fear that there is anyone on this planet stupid enough to fall for the hype. I can understand why Cory Wheelsabraker is happy to indulge in a wool over the eyes exercise. There is loads and loads of dosh to be made and who cares who suffers. But everyone else. Get a grip.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Of course you'd agree - you are, after all, one and the same, aren't you?

    Report this comment

    Jeffs Wet Lettuce

    Friday, January 31, 2014

  • Well makin the new incinerator is a good thing innit. Burnin the rubbish is best for all concerned.

    Report this comment

    Rastus Obinga-Odinga

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

  • Just think how much money they would have saved if they had not paid landfill taxes (completely unnecessary) and got the rubbish they need incinerating taken to other sites for a knock down price with no building costs, no paying off PFI credits etc etc . The incineratorlandfill comparison is the completely the wrong one to take. Anyone with even the tiniest modicum of common sense would see that the correct comparison is incineratorno need for incinerator and no need to spend vast sums of public money on building the poisonous behemoth. And why has there been no reports on the new anaerobic digester in Norfolk that will be digesting 30,000 tonnes of rubbish that make the Kings Lynn incinerator even less of a starter than it is already. In fact Suffolk wont be happy with this either. I can see the day coming where incinerators and their desperate Councils fight over rubbish on a village by village basis. I think one prolific poster on these sites has pointed this out on a regular basis. Step forward Ingo Wagenknecht.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Thursday, January 30, 2014

  • As alecto enjoys pointing out the errors of others we should note the comment dated 30th January further down this thread which contained the following errors; “incineratorlandfill “ are in fact two words and not one. “incineratorno” is another miss spelled word. “Kings Lynn” Should carry a hyphen between the letters ‘g‘ and ‘s‘. Also please note that there is only ever need for the use of one “etc” and of course the phrase “tiniest modicum of common sense “ needs no lesson.

    Report this comment

    Jack Bantoft

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

  • I think I can recall some of Professor Radcliffe's papers on this and he is right to make the point here. It is the only viable option and the benefits outweigh any negatives. Get on and build it.

    Report this comment

    Inactive account

    Saturday, February 1, 2014

  • In your angry haste to correct another persons English you spelled 'research' without the second 'r'. I quote ; " Reseach your Greek Mythology". You appear to have missed the point being made. Nothing new. I see you have resorted to insult as usual. Typical anti campaigner.

    Report this comment

    Jack Bantoft

    Monday, February 3, 2014

  • 'D'el Boy - this is nothing about actually building the plant as far as you're concerned is it? All this is about is getting your own back on a campaign that wisely ignored your cryptic emails. Boo hooo.

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • Who Knows or cares? Point is the decision will be to go ahead after all the work done. We need this built and working sooner rather than later.

    Report this comment

    Del Boy

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • I have a mad passion for Fenscape but as I am not from Norfolk we are not related.

    Report this comment

    alecto

    Sunday, February 2, 2014

  • It won`t matter whether Pickles reads this article or not.

    Report this comment

    democrat

    Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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