Fife Conservatives Budget Proposal for 2011
On Thursday, the Conservative Group on Fife Council will put forward a conservative budget, designed to protect services for as many Fifers as possible while maintaining the council tax freeze and modestly increasing the council balances to meet the increased challenges of future years.

Group leader, Cllr Dave Dempsey said "We've based our budget submission on a number of principles.

With all the pressures on council funds, we've rejected as unaffordable such luxuries as free school meals for all P1-P3 children.  Instead, we've chosen to protect Fife's highly regarded school music service, whose budget was to be halved, and to back the investment in GLOW, a state of the art internet-based learning environment for Scottish schools.

In social work, we continue to push the council to withdraw from the direct provision of care homes, since we know that the private sector can provide as good a service at lower cost.  We've chosen to defend some of the smaller-scale services, such as pension collection, which were under threat.  Instead, we've resisted the main social work pressures to provide ever more high cost care packages in the community as we don't believe this to be a sustainable approach.  As a result, we've released sufficient cash to reverse the contentious increase in home care charges implemented over the last couple of years.

We will propose retaining the present scheme for concessionary rail fares, though with a increased charge to the user.  We have allocated a significant extra sum for winter road maintenance, to prevent a recurrence of this winter's problems.

We have carried forward our proposals from previous years. We would cut significantly the Council's publications budget and we would replace the 0845 numbers that penalise the public when they phone the Council, particularly from mobiles.

Finally, we would set up a small, dedicated team with a brief to search through the Council for those areas where costs can be cut with least impact on the service to the public.

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