I wrote last time that Torbay Council was facing a funding cut of 2.3% although when compared to other Councils, some of which faced cuts of 8.8%, it could have been worse.
That is not to belittle the tough choices the elected mayor faced but it has certainly become clear that other areas have protected services for the vulnerable despite facing even harder decisions. Politics is all about choices and priorities, and none of them are ever easy.
However, there are many reasons to be cheerful and optimistic, not least because nationally we are making headway getting Torbay a better deal from Government.
New business start-ups are being assisted with long-term support to help them prosper and grow and spend their profits locally.
Through lobbying of Ministers and taking advantage of funding initiatives, Torbay will see some tangible, positive changes. The by-pass is being built and it is already reducing unemployment in Torbay at a faster rate than the rest of Devon. Increased train services to Exeter will run once the line is fully operational again, and improvements to the A303 are being explored to improve road links to London.
Three wards in Torbay have been proposed for Assisted Area Status giving us a competitive advantage by helping local businesses, and 97 per cent of all Torbay business addresses will have the fastest broadband speeds this year thanks to Government investment directed here.
It’s not all doom and gloom.