Melton applauds recycling savings as council post budget underspend of �52,000

LEADER Alan Melton hailed the savings made through recycling after Fenland District Council posted a budget underspend of more than �52,000.

Councillor John Clark, portfolio holder for finance, told yesterday’s cabinet meeting that the council’s general fund budget for 2011/12 had been provisionally underspent by �52,376.

They saved �133,820 more than they budgeted to on “employee costs” and �313,880 more on supplies and services including furniture, ICT, training and community transport.

The council spent �77,706 less than they estimated on domestic refuse collection - a figure Cllr Melton highlighted as “fantastic”.

He said: “That’s a considerable sum and that’s because of the credit we get through recycling.

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“Everybody who puts things in compost or blue bins are actually helping FDC, keeping the council tax levels low and giving us money to invest in other services.

“To give you an idea, that’s the equivalent of roughly 1-1.5 per cent on the council tax. The message should go out that you can help your society and your council by recycling.”

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Cllr Clark said �400,000 had been added to reserves and that it was important to plan for “uncertainties coming up in the next two years”.

He said: “This is a great report and we should be proud of our achievements. There are many councils which would like to be in our position. That said, we must not forget how we achieved this.

He added: “I’m pleased to report that we are in a healthy and strong position. However, it’s important that we remain cautious as our reserves could easily be called upon by challenging issues in future.”

Cllr Melton said: “Do not underestimate what this report means.

“It’s fantastic that not only have we achieved first class services but we have also managed to identify further savings over and above that which the government wanted us to find.”

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