"I would love to be able to tell you what is in the budget and what the implications are for residents, but unfortunately I only got sight of the documents yesterday afternoon and am still working my way through them. Bear in mind that involves reading about 150 pages of detailed figures.
In most councils the budget is openly discussed for months before the council meeting at which it is set. In Wokingham, opposition councillors get to see the papers at the same time as the public. We have a week to go through them to try to figure out what the figures mean. It’s ludicrous, and means the budget gets no proper scrutiny from anyone outside the officers and ruling Conservative group.
So if Conservatives start criticising the Lib Dems for their lack of alternative budget, bear in mind that the Conservatives have had 8 months, 43 members and the entire officer corps to put their budget together. It’s kind of hard for a group of 9 councillors plus 1 part-time officer to replicate that in a week.
I will post more about what’s in the budget when I’ve had time to go through it all.