Two weeks left to fill £2.4million budget black hole
A £2.4MILLION black hole in the city council's budget needs to be filled – but councillors still can't say how they will do it.
Gloucester City Council needs to approve its budget on February 21 but, with just two weeks to go, it still hasn't published a draft.
That's despite Gloucestershire County Council revealing its extensive plans for the county on Wednesday.
Councillor Jeremy Hilton, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, has blasted the delay as "incompetent".
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"We know that they need to make £2.4 million of cuts but they haven't said how," he said. "It is incompetent.
"I also sit on the county council and we have already seen the budget plans, which run to several hundreds of pages.
"If this was a private business, they would not be allowed to get away with it."
City council finance chiefs say a delay in news from the Government about the amount they would receive in grants has been to blame.
Pete Gillett, director of resources, said: "Given the fact that the Government settlement was a lot later than normal we were keen to respond quickly."
Council bosses say they are pleased with the 380 responses to their public consultation on the budget received so far.
Some 88 per cent of people don't want a council tax increase and 65 per cent support a cut in the budget for refuse, recycling and street cleaning. But 63 per cent object to a fortnightly recycling collection and 53 per cent say parking charges are too high.
The council is still accepting comments until the budget meeting takes place on February 21.