Silent expenditure

PUBLISHED: 10:25 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 25 May 2010

I READ with interest Mr M Ripley's letter where his astute business analysis of North Somerset Council's Executive spending strategies highlighted substantial amounts of silent expenditure.

I READ with interest Mr M Ripley's letter where his astute business analysis of North Somerset Council's Executive spending strategies highlighted substantial amounts of silent expenditure.

I would go further and say that a project of this magnitude rarely stays within projected budgets where overspends of between 10-15 per cent are operational norms.

I would like to add my own questioning of the council's executive business acumen. The Mercury has been following the nursing homes dispute over fees and on January 28 we now go to arbitration.

Had the local authority accepted our recent 'middle ground' proposal it would have entailed an increase of approximately £480,000 a year within their budget. Now that they have rejected this offer and we are going to arbitration; should we win it will cost this LA £3.2m pa, backdated to April 2009. I have been informed that such an augmentation would regretfully require an increase in council tax, whereas our offer could have been found within existing budgets.

Mr Ripley's analysis along with my own is set against a financial backdrop where the council informs me that they are currently £1.2m overspent and will have to reluctantly introduce cuts in services.

GORDON BUTCHER

Regional Chairman Registered Nursing Homes Association

Lyndhurst Park Nursing Home, Severn Road, Weston

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