The 2016 Verviers municipality budget was approved on Tuesday, to no-one’s surprise, by the majority with some opposition, whilst the budget had been largely prepared by the previous majority local government an cdH-MR (Left wing Socialists and Liberals). The 2016 budget has been reduced by 5.74%, compared to 2015, so as to make possible significant savings of 206,000 euros. Marked savings measures were made as regards staffing and operational expenses, with 13 redundancies occuring some months ago. “Substantial work to prepare the budget had already been done by the cdH-MR alliance, and we remained within the established benchmarks,” indicated Muriel Targnion, the Socialist Alderwoman.
It may also be noted, amongst expenditure variation, an increase of 2% in the CPAS grant and 4% for the local area police budget.
In relation to the special budget, the expenditure will be 21,105,000 euros of which 6,344,588 euros will be subsidies, mainly focused upon the city centre.
Amongst the spending plans, there is, in particular, the appointment of an architect for the Grand Théâtre, for which one million has been set aside, the setting up a project plan as part of the future administrative district site and further still the repurchase of the shopping centre within the major retail area for a total of four million euros.
Maxime Degey, the Liberal leader, also regrets the end of a particular housing policy which was seeking to achieve not only citizen safety but also the creation of a given social diversity in the city centre.
Although the MR had suggested budget amendments which were turned down by the majority, they did not approve the 2016 budget.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)