Lilian Greenwood came to the Bridgeway Practice at Meadows Health Centre to see the renewed surgery rooms. Lilian Greenwood – “It was great to see how the changes to the building and general refurbishment was making a positive difference for both patients and staff. Congratulations to the practice and patient representatives – Susan, Terry and Eunice – for their determination.“
A budget is agreed, but little joy as it expects £23m of savings in much needed public service to be found. The national financial settlements are unfair, biased against the cities and towns of the North and the Midlands, and the Conservatives are setting themselves up to take more money to give to rural areas. – A slightly different budget from the Conservatives this year. Instead of avoiding any Council tax increase, they propose an increase 1% lower than Labour’s. Clearly picking up some points from officers and the majority group, but drawing different conclusions, they propose spending £3 million on pump-priming investments on social services, by selling shares in Robin Hood Energy, covering the gap whilst waiting for share sales with draws upon reserves. Loads of risks – value of share yield, savings from extra investments, timings etc. They had to be pressured to confirm that they wouldn’t sell off Nottingham City Transport, but I still think they would. N Post article. – I am always struck by the basic element of sound financial management, which is that during a period where you are expected to look after more people in need during a time of cuts, you need to maximise the Council tax base to meet the need. – Meanwhile, we again expose Nottingham city centre Conservatives for their false claims and less than relevant priorities for city centre residents. – Bizarrely, the Conservatives again call for Hansard style recording of full council, without putting the idea in their budget proposals. Even stranger, the Conservative leader joins in a tribute to the 16 retiring Labour Councillors, before his Deputy piles in to say they’re all being driven out by people with ideology. I say – “you’ve got to have a belief.”
I was so determined to make Audit committee interesting – and an N Post journalist does turn up. Disappointing then that the most entertaining story was told in camera. Meantime, we updated accounting polices to reflect new international standards, reviewed treasury management strategies and acknowledged progress in health and safety training of managers. Revised risk analysis practices within the council were illustrated by hilarious project management stories from Cllr. Young and myself from our times at British Rail Computing; well when I say hilarious, let’s just say there was a lot of polite smiling in the room.
Re-opened in September, the library has seen an increase in visits; uses big windows and a light coloured floor to maximise the light; a special story tree feature and lots of computers; a meeting room with a projector screen for a blind; and build to cost.