West Dorset District Council has just announced plans to cut £9.4 million from its budget by 2020. “What is both very disturbing and deeply cynical is that the Conservatives who run the Council won’t say where the axe is set to fall until after next May’s elections,” said Dorchester Councillor Andy Canning.
New West Dorset Council Offices costing £9.7 million
A whole series of service review meetings had been planned over the next few months but all of this has now been put off until after polling day! Ways to raise more money that will have to be considered include:
- Higher Council Tax
- Increased car parking charges
- Charging for planning advice
- Forcing Parish Councils to contribute towards the cost of running elections.
“Local residents are being forced to pay more for less,” added Cllr Canning. Services that will have to be considered for cuts include:
- Closing Tourist Information Centres
- Axing grants to local CABs
- Closing public toilets and
- Cutting grants to local museums and arts groups.
“At this rate the District Council will be left with very little to do,” said Beaminster Councillor Janet Page. “First WDDC lost responsibility for social housing, now waste and revenues & benefits have been transferred to separate partnerships. Just why do we need 42 paid Councillors who cost so much Council Tax?”