BREAKING NEWS: Budget approved by Doncaster councillors

Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies
Doncaster Mayor Peter Davies

THE Doncaster Council budget has been approved with amendments just over a week after it was rejected by councillors.

Following the authority’s £485 million spending plan for the next year, eighty per cent of councillors voted against mayor Peter Davies’ budget for 2012/13 over £610,000 of changes.

However, Mr Davies addressed a packed council meeting at the Mansion House on Monday night to announce amendments after Labour group leader Sandra Holland called for changes.

He agreed to:

* Day Care Fees - Labour suggested cutting the proposed 26.6 per cent increase in day care fees to 10 per cent for 2012/13, meaning the daily fee would rise to £9.80 and cost the council £58,000 each year.

* Members Support - He supported the revised budget proposal and for the issue to be deferred until the 2013/14 budget setting when the continuance of the service would be discussed, at a one-off cost of £25,000.

* Citizens Advice Bureau - He agreed with the amendment because he said he “did not want to interfere” with an organisation such as CAB and to allow the bureau to be restructured to offer better service to residents at a one-off cost of £65,000.

* Opportunity Centres - He supported the amendment which Labour said would not cost the council anything as it would be funded through the Work Skills and Enterprise Programme.

* Local Government Association - On maintaining subscription, the mayor said he was “quite content” to go back to the LGA.

However, Mr Davies rejected the proposal for Local Government Yorkshire and Humber which he said was an “expensive talking shop” and did not represent value for money from the public funds.

He also said there would be £100,000 provided in additional funding with regards to libraries to assist with running costs but rejected the revised proposal.

Mrs Holland said people needed libraries and proposed to create a contingency budget to provide 14 libraries to continue which was seconded by members and carried.

Overall, 43 members approved the amended proposal, six voted against the plans and there were three abstentions.

For a full report on Monday’s meeting, buy a copy of this week’s Free Press.