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Lib Dems - investing in our communities and the culture of Gloucester

February 25, 2020 11:40 AM

Jeremy Hilton and Declan Wilson prepare budget amendments 2020On Thursday, at the budget setting meeting, Liberal Democrats on Gloucester City Council will propose a suite of six budget amendments to the value of £356,000. There will be no additional cost to the taxpayer.

The six projects being proposed will help support communities in Gloucester and improve the city's cultural offer.

Lib Dem group leader, Jeremy Hilton said: "Our amendments will not put up the council tax, but we will use unallocated reserves to invest in projects to improve our small forgotten public open spaces, placing extra defibrillators at suitable locations in Gloucester and investing £100,000 in a two year project to start cataloguing the backlog of the 400,000 museum artefacts that remain undocumented. It is amazing that 80% of the council's museum collection is not fully catalogued. Our budget amendments are the beginning of our plan to fix the broken council. Tory rule has done a lot of damage. We have further innovative plans that will form our manifesto for 7th May elections."

Lib Dem deputy, Declan Wilson said: "At the end of March 2021 the council projects its earmarked reserves to be at £6,234,000, with the majority of the funds unallocated to specific projects. We plan to use just 5.71% of the reserves help fund repairs to community buildings, using £10,000 to install some drinking water refill points around the city and allocating £80,000 to create a statue of Æthelflæd the Lady of the Mercians, the founder of St Oswald's Priory. It is unbelievable that following the 1,100 year anniversary of her death the city council is failing to adequately remember this remarkable woman."

The budget amendments, are:-

  1. Improving our small public open spaces, setting aside funds to deal with forgotten small areas of public open spaces - one off funding of £80,000.
  2. Funding some defibrillators at suitable locations in Gloucester - one off funding of £6,000.
  3. Employing archaeologist to catalogue the large number uncatalogued items held by the museum service. A two-year project to work with a team of volunteers - one off funding £100,000.
  4. Setting aside funds to help to provide grants to community organisations to carry out repairs buildings that they manage - one off funding £80,000.
  5. Investing in public art, with the first call on creating a statue of Æthelflæd - one off funding of£80,000.
  6. Installation of free drinking water refill points around city centre and the Quays - one off funding £10,000.

The total earmarked reserves are projected to be £6,234,000 by 31st March 2021. A large proportion of these funds are not allocated to specific projects. We propose to use these unallocated funds to support the above project, leaving the cabinet to decide the final source of funding.

Total investment required £356,000 - (5.71%) of reserves