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Lichfield District Council boosts coffers by £385,000 as “efficiency targets” are also met

Lichfield District Council has boosted its coffers by more than £385,000 after posting better than expected financial figures.

Lichfield District Council House

Lichfield District Council House

A report to the local authority’s overview and scrutiny committee has revealed that as well as hitting its planned “efficiency targets”, the council had also been able to transfer £692,606 to its general reserves.

The figure is higher than the £307,500 it had anticipated in a revised budget – and significantly above the £8,560 it had expected at the start of the 2016/17 period.

Anthony Thomas, head of finance and procurement at Lichfield District Council, said: “The extra money has mainly come from higher than expected income from a variety of sources, including an increase in planning applications, attendance at our leisure centres, use of our car parks and licensing and court fees.”

Although the additional money had been transferred to the council’s account, Mr Thomas warned that it did not mean the future was necessarily bright in financial terms.

“More money in our reserves will help us to manage the financial risks that are coming up, such as a change in the way business rates are distributed and central government funding being withdrawn,” he said. “So, although our financial position has been strengthened, it unfortunately does not take away from the huge funding gap we face in the coming years.”

The financial challenges facing the council going forward have been brought to the forefront in recent months, with plans to introduce a charge for brown bin collections from 2018.

The Labour opposition group branded the so-called bin tax as “outrageous”, but Conservative Cabinet member Cllr Iain Eadie said the bleak financial picture meant tough decisions needed to be made.

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24 Comments

  1. John Griffin

    6th June, 2017 at 11:06 am

    The ‘bleak financial future’ is a product of 7 years of Cllr Eadie’s national party and its economic claptrap austerity policies, nothing more or less. Will he accept responsibility for this – not likely, just utter more ‘belt-tightening-we’re-all-in-it-together’ rubbish.

  2. Nico

    6th June, 2017 at 11:56 am

    John Griffin
    So it has absolutely nothing to do with the financial mismanagement of the previous 13 years of Labour government? It’s all Cameron/Osborne’s fault? Yeah, Ok – keep reading your Morning Star, mate.

    I for one, would like to commend the (Conservative led) Lichfield council on their prudent financial management; shows it can be done.

  3. Rob

    6th June, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Makes a pleasant change from the likes of Wolverhampton and Sandwell displaying symptoms of financial incontinence.

  4. Rodney

    6th June, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Nico, how long have we had Conservatives in government? how long have we had a Conservative MP, how long have we had a majority Conservative council?
    More than long enough to have shown just how financially prudent they were telling us they were years ago.
    But all we have had is cuts, we have lost so many of our local services, groups and projects, Samuel Johnson hospital is just about functioning, Burntwood health services are appalling, the money for educating our kids is about to be slashed massively.
    If you have money in the bank a house that is already paid for, good health and no kids or grandchildren that you actually care about, and no conscience about the people that you rely on to provide your locally provided services at the cheapest possible rate, then carry on and vote Conservative, but as anybody that is prudent will realise, that model is a niche part of society which will no longer be supported when the bottom drops out of it.
    Keep reading your Daily Mail “mate”.

  5. John Griffin

    6th June, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    The major financial incontince for Labour was PFI and was inexcusable, as many of us lefties argued and fought at the time.
    However the crash that started in the USA in Dec 2007 had its effects in this country due to massive speculation by the banks here, and triggered by the run on Northern Rock which exposed their 45/1 leverage. Brown and Darling initiated a massive QE bailout which stabilised the UK economy to the extent that we had, by the beginning of 2010, one of the best recovery rates with growth over 3%. A year later, into Osborne’s austerity, that growth rate slumped to 1% or less and has barely picked up since, the slowest recovery bar one.
    This is the political decision I am referring to, to crash living standards by cutting services and privatising massively, while transferring the taxpayers money into the pockets of the 1&, many of them avoiding tax. So cut the rubbish about ‘Labour bankrupted the UK’, it is nothing but rubbish, Cameron’s ‘Big Lie’, just like the Brexit £350m.

  6. John Griffin

    6th June, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    PS I’m a Daily Mirror and Financial Times man meself, not Morning Star. Sorry for bucking the stereotype.

  7. Nico

    6th June, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    John.

    So, your premise is this. All of the financial difficulties attributed to Blair/Brown were in fact nothing to do with them; it was the world economy. Whilst all of the difficulties since, are absolutely nothing to do with anywhere else in the world, it’s all down to Cameron/Osborne?

    Doesn’t really make sense, does it?

    But even if you’re right, returning Britain to the economic model of the 1970s, as Corbyn is proposing, is economic suicide that would dwarf any problems arising due to Brexit.

    Thankfully, the British public will not fall for it.

    “I’m afraid there is no money left” Liam Byrne, chief secretary to the Treasury under Gordon Brown. After 13 years of Labour rule.

  8. Nico

    6th June, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    PS. I too apologise for bucking the stereotype, as I certainly do not read the Daily Mail as has been suggested. I prefer to stay away from mainstream media altogether!

  9. Mike

    6th June, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Nico – well you’ve lost that argument by quoting what was a joke by Liam Byrne, something departing governments always seem to do when handing over to the opposition, and treating it as a serious fact. If you continue to look at a country’s economy as a PLC then you will always have to have austerity. It stumps growth. The entire economic picture for any country is based on its government investment in it. By your premise the US must be shockingly run, considering its debt figures.a bank can create money, have a look at the Positive Money website for more info.

  10. Darryl

    6th June, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    @Nico

    Aren’t you tired of spouting that line from so long ago? The debt has risen under the Tories, despite austerity, yet they still perpetuate the illusion of frugality.

    “returning Britain to the economic model of the 1970s,” another phrase the Torys like to spin. Why shouldn’t public owned not-for-profit organisations, like the railways, the NHS work?

    I find it more perverse that Conservative ideology expects us to believe that PFI is good for the NHS, and yes I’m aware Blair started this nonsense before you throw that out there. Private money may bolster the NHS, but those companies are going to want to see a return. Private companies don’t do anything for free.

    Similarly the railways, why can’t they have a self-funding model? It works elsewhere in the EU. All profits are plowed back into improvements after staff wages and running costs are catered for.

    The prison service has been decimated in recent years and is in crisis.

    It is about the only part of Brexit that may have a desirable result. The ability to bring these organisations back into public ownership won’t break EU rules once we’ve left.

    Conservative thinking decries public ownership because it is ingrained. Being a closed book to making improvements and open to all ideas, makes the Torys dinosaurs of their own making.

  11. Steven Norman

    6th June, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    The new Chief Executive got a grip of the situation she found LDC in when she arrived – fortunately for Lichfield District’s residents.
    Is it okay to mention that the Labour Administration left them with over £24 million in the bank in 1999?

  12. The Scribbler

    6th June, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    How many Jags will £385,000 buy to help keep up the high standards which elected representatives have come to demand/expect?

  13. Nico

    6th June, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    The Scribbler

    What Jaguar(s) are you referring to? Currently, one Ford Mondeo is leased by Lichfield City Council for civic functions.

  14. The Scribbler

    7th June, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Yes, they switched to a Mondeo very reluctantly after months of ridiculous “debate” about the alleged pro’s and con’s of keeping a luxury car.
    This means they can go back to the Jags.
    https:https://lichfieldlive.co.uk/2016/04/19/changes-to-civic-car-are-approved-by-lichfield-district-council/

  15. Nico

    7th June, 2017 at 8:26 am

    So you agree that you were trying to mislead readers into believing that they run a fleet of Jaguars? You were obviously confusing them with Johnny ‘Two Jags’ Prescott.

  16. The Scribbler

    7th June, 2017 at 7:21 pm

    No.

  17. Mike

    7th June, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    I think the scribbler was being metaphorical Nico. I haven’t been misled by that statement, to me it means that it is the perception that £385k will be utilised selfishly by the council as they pat themselves on the back. This ignores the fact that we are already getting charged to take items to our own tip which we pay for already, and then there is the brown bin charge coming as well. Just a couple of things that our council tax apparently no longer covers.

  18. Toast

    8th June, 2017 at 8:41 am

    Nico ‘BMW 5 Series’ has a nice ring to it.

  19. Nico

    8th June, 2017 at 9:03 am

    You can make all the excuses you like. It was self-evidently designed to mislead casual readers into believing the council has a fleet of Jags to ferry dignitaries around in. Simply designed to rile people when in fact there is one leased Mondeo.

    If you’d rather have Labour’s ‘Land Tax’ then vote for them. But don’t moan when your payment increases three fold. For the same services.

  20. Toast

    8th June, 2017 at 9:23 am

    Only people with mansions & acres of land need to worry about the ‘Land Tax’ Nico; are you scared?

  21. Nico

    8th June, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Mansions and acres of land? I suggest you check the figures if that’s what you really believe.

  22. Steven Norman

    8th June, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I’m not sure “Nico” understands the difference between Lichfield City Council and Lichfield District Council – unless the City Council also has a car now.

  23. Steve

    8th June, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    I thought the skill was delivering more, for the same or less money.

    Delivering less, while charging more. Does not seem a brilliant skill, to me.

  24. Nico

    8th June, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Steven Norman
    Funny how you single me out for not making the distinction, rather than the original poster. Hey ho, why am I surprised?!