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Bid to divert funding to help youth services is voted down

Wednesday, 05 March 2014 0 Comments by Claire

My proposal (or amendment, as it is termed in council jargon) at the EDDC full council and budget meeting last week to divert £100,000 of the £200,000 office relocation budget to support youth services, was voted down by the conservatives.

At the meeting, which took place on Wednesday 26 February, I made a short speech about the importance of the youth service and how it was being put at risk, before proposing that half the money allocated to the office relocation budget be diverted to help youth services in East Devon.

I reminded the council that this practice (allocating the money in this way) had been criticised by the overview and scrutiny committee, because there was no specific expenditure listed in the budget line. As such it may not all be required.

But it was certainly needed by the youth service.

There was hubbub of talking and several interruptions while I was speaking. I asked several times for the council to hear me out.

Cllr David Cox told me I couldn’t move money from a capital budget to a revenue budget, to which I replied I was not suggesting this.

Cllr Jill Elson said that everyone needed to work together on helping youth services, but we should wait and see what happens first.

I said that there was no time to wait because the budget was being set that evening for the year ahead.

Then a senior officer described my amendment as being “mistakenly put,” before adding that it was a “nonsense amendment,” following a query from a councillor. 

The conservatives then collectively voted against the amendment.

I think I know what would have been the more worthwhile investment - and it isn’t on spending millions of public money while simultaneously risking millions of pounds of debt, to build brand new offices on the edge of Exeter.

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