Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Stockton and the Olympics

Councillors were treated to an upbeat and enthusiastic briefing this afternoon on the events in the borough associated with the olympics.  It was almost enough to inspire me to take up a new sport - almost but not quite!  Those who know me of old will know that sport and me don't mix.
Nevertheless I might well be inspired to go and watch other people taking part.  There are rowing and cycling events, events for school children and for grandparents, and celebrations like the torch being carried through the borough on a Sunday afternoon in June.  So there should be something for everyone, even if it's just a good excuse for a picnic in the park.  There'll even be a big screen in the town to watch the olympics on, while enjoying your picnic!

It was all very welcome after a couple of hours of wrestling with the question of the council budget for the coming year and the painful question of whether the council should accept the grant being offered by government to keep council tax to zero this year and then hope we can cover the gap next year, or to reject the grant and put up the council tax this year so that we know we have the money in the budget for the future.  This year there are two opposing views on the council, both wanting support from other groups for their proposal.  Suffice to say at the moment that we are looking at all the options and will decide how to vote when we've seen all the figures.  Neither view will stop SBC having to cut back further on services, and if the suggestion made by the chancellor that public sector spending will have to fall further after 2014 is carried through some of those cuts will be very visible and definitely not be popular.

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