"At the Cabinet meeting of 16th November 2011, the executive took decision reference 2117 on the CAROS review. It was minuted that option C was chosen which was “A phased reduction in the level of support given over three years”. This made provision for a budgetary provision be made to fund the phased reduction up to the end of 2014/15 i.e. 2012/13 £63,902; 2013/14 £43,307 and 2014/15 £21,760.
The Finance and Asset Management Portfolio Holder subsequently clarified this decision at the call-in, and at the cabinet meeting of the 14th December stating “that any organisation that was in receipt of CAROS funding now or during the next three years would have their overall rent limited to £150 in each of the next three years after which time the scheme would cease. The Council would make the necessary budgetary provision to fund CAROS in each of those three years.”
Please can the Portfolio Holder:-
(a) now tell Members the estimated budgetary requirement to fund CAROS for each of those three years;
(b) confirm whether or not organisations that are currently eligible to apply for CAROS, but not currently in CAROS, will be allowed to apply to join during the next 3 years?"
“Thank you Chairman, thank you Councillor for your question and I will refer Councillor Howard to the minutes of the Community Leadership and Partnerships Committee held on the 12th December 2011 and to the minutes of the Cabinet meetings held on the 16th November and the 14th December 2011 and the 25th January 2012 and the Budget before us tonight. Together they will provide all the relevant information in relation to your question and in answer to (b) ‘if any organisation comes forward to apply’, yes they can apply. Thank you Chairman.”
Councillor Howard then asked the following supplementary question of the Finance and Asset Management Portfolio Holder:-
“Thank you for your brief answer there. Obviously this was asked before some of those meetings took place but what does concern me greatly is that we have had a number of different numbers given to us over the last few months whereas the decrease in numbers I have just alluded to or read out there at the last full Council meeting I believe you stated that for each of the next three years the budget would be £107,000 over and above the £17,850 and then the clarification came in the later minutes you just referred to of £91,000, followed by £108,000, followed by £109,000. That latest set of figures is broadly in line with option (a) from the original Cabinet meeting where you made the decision, therefore it seems that you have pretty much chosen option (a) which is continuing it for three years but then truncating it after three years so it is closer to (a) than (c) which was phasing out which was clearly indicated by the numbers going down by £21,000 a year, so it seems to me on the face of it that you re-wrote history only after it had been called-in and we have to be concerned about this because if it hadn’t been called-in are we to assume that this would have actually gone ahead and people would have been paying more and the £21,000 per year would have been going down out of this budget. That is a big concern. There is so many different numbers it is like watching Countdown. So perhaps you could just confirm that the latest set of figures that are quoted £91,000, £108,000 and £109,000 are still correct and they haven’t changed again. Thank you.”
“That’s a gem that one, re-writing history. How long were you a Tendring First Councillor, Councillor? That’s quite interesting. My intention from day one has never changed, you will note from the question where Councillor Oxley asked me before the Scrutiny meeting was called I in fact stated, and it's in the minutes, that no organisation would be affected for three years, so my intention and the decision I intended to make has never changed, that has been clarified on numerous occasions and the budget tonight clarifies that once more for you Councillor. Thank you Chairman.”