The nine councils in Dorset have a combined total of £330m in reserves, as reported by the Bournemouth Echo.
The following are the latest figures from April this year;
Dorset County Council £101,322,000
Borough of Poole £59,014,000
East Dorset £13,050,000
West Dorset £35,108,000
North Dorset £7,051,000
Weymouth and Portland £12,774,000
This makes a total of £330,078,000 in reserves. However it has been said that the figures are not necessarily the whole picture.
Cllr Graham Carr-Jones, leader of North Dorset District Council, said; “Councillors save money for projects and future things. Sometimes these things are very misleading. Its like you saying you have £3,000 in your bank account, but its for a car.”
MP Conor Burns for Bournemouth West has asked for a more detailed analysis from the council on the breakdowns of the published figures.
“Councils do accrue reserves in order to do things that are outside the day to day spending priorities of the local councils. So major infrastructure projects major regeneration developments of the town.”
Burns wants the council to justify the substantial reserves and to give an understanding on why they cant be used to alleviate pressures in the budget; “I would like an explanation to understand why that money is there and what it is for. I think the council will have a responsibility to explain that in a transparent and understandable way to residents who might justifiably ask questions.
The figure of unallocated reserves is allegedly a lot smaller according to Bournemouth council leader John Beesley who said the figure is closer to £8.1m.
Councils are required to be responsible with the tax payer’s money, as they should be aware of saving for the future and using the money only where it is needed.