Leader of Winchester City Council, Councillor Kelsie Learney, is taking action to fill the gap in the City Council’s finances left by the previous Conservative administration
The new Liberal Democrat run City Council is facing a series of difficult financial decisions this year. Not only have government grants to the Council been cut back but the finances of the Council were left in a poor state. Reserves were run down by the Conservatives and the City Council will have to borrow or sell property if it is to pay for essential works such as those needed at River Park leisure centre. Surprisingly despite projections showing a £1.7m gap in the budget next year the Conservatives continue to deny there is a problem.
Council Leader Kelsie Learney said “Conservative income forecasts were over-optimistic, in particular parking income is way under target with free bus passes, park and ride and residents choosing to cycle and walk all reducing the demand for parking spaces.”
The City is taking a series of actions to straighten out the finances, working on shared services with other Councils, changing the way it delivers services and looking at making better use of car parks and other buildings and property.