An amendment proposed by Labour group leader Councillor Joe Fagan, for the budget report to be scrutinised by the full council, was accepted.
At the executive committee meeting yesterday (Wednesday), Councillor Fagan argued that “the role of the full council should be strengthened” and that the committee “shouldn’t make a decision today”.
Previously, the budget was debated by the executive committee before being sent for approval by the full council.
Councillor Robert Brown “broadly agreed” with Councillor Fagan, adding: “The full council should be the democratic decision makers.”
Paul Manning, executive director for finance and corporate resources, outlined savings already made in additional to unexpected costs resulting in a healthier budget position than expected.
As a result of the proposals, the council would have a projected underspend of £3.962m – £2m of which could be spent on introducing the Free at 3 childcare initiative.
The remaining money would either be put into the council’s reserves or used to reduce the savings package.
Stephen Bark - Local Democracy Reporting Service