Uttlesford has no reserves'

PUBLISHED: 13:44 02 August 2007 | UPDATED: 21:46 29 May 2010

PEOPLE of Uttlesford are being warned that the district council is in financial difficulty, with virtually no reserves left at all . The admission came at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday, when Cllr Robert Chambers, chairman of finance, told the

PEOPLE of Uttlesford are being warned that the district council is in financial difficulty, with "virtually no reserves left at all".

The admission came at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday, when Cllr Robert Chambers, chairman of finance, told the council that serious steps would have to be taken to recover losses.

Cllr Chambers said: "Before the Conservatives took control of Uttlesford District Council in May, I wrote a short letter to the press saying that if the Lib Dems stayed in power at the elections, the council would be bankrupt within a short period of time.

"Those facts are slowly emerging and I am sorry to say that I was right in my assumptions."

Cllr Chambers proposed the adoption of the draft accounts at the meeting, which revealed that £200,000 had been taken from the council's "sacrosanct balances" in order to level things up.

"This shows you that we have virtually no reserves left at all," he said. "That is how tight the budget is for the ensuing year."

Some of the reasons given for the council's lack of funds included staffing issues, poor financial management, the Lib Dem-led council trying to do too many things too quickly and the last-minute lowering of council tax rates in February.

Cllr Chambers said: "The electorate of Uttlesford are, I am sure, more interested in how the Conservative administration is going to put the books right.

"Our first and foremost priority is to achieve financial stability. I feel strongly that the residents of Uttlesford need to know that we are starting from a low position.

"It will take time to recover from this financial difficulty, but we will keep you informed of the progress we make. We have a strong team, but only you and the residents will be able to tell us whether we are succeeding or not."

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