bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Friday 24.11.2017 | Name days: Velta, Velda
LatviaLatvia

How the rulers of Ventspils divided the budget

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+6 rating, 6 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU‘The 2014 budget of Ventspils City Council was approved quietly by politicians of For Latvia and Ventspils with help from Harmony Centre deputy Vitaly Trusevich January 24, 2014. As usual, the primary goal of the budget is satisfying the growing needs of those in charge of Ventpils, the smaller needs of those who run with them. The insignificant needs of the city’s residents are to be considered only if there is anything left of the budget after the satisfaction of the aforementioned greater needs,’ – as the budget division process is described by opposition deputies Aivis Landmanis and Vladislav Shafranskis in their open letter.

BNN publishes the whole letter:

In order to have this priority-lacking budget approved, those who rule Ventspils did everything they could from day one to not allow any people who could have potentially opposed the ‘priorities’ of the rulers of Ventspils to access the budget formation process.

We are not surprised with the budget creators’ inability to answer a single one of our questions. The rulers of Ventspils could not recall the simplest things: how much money is to be diverted for marketing activities and publicity, especially regarding financial support for Ventas Balss newspaper? Will the municipal budget keep financing maintenance and repairs of the vehicles owned by high-rank officials of Ventspils City Council? Why doesn’t the budget include funding to provide pensioners free public transport services within city limits? Why can’t we adequately support social activities through non-governmental organizations like ‘Žēlsirdības māja’ (House of mercy) and ‘Cimdiņš’ or any other organization that provides support and cares for children invalids and other unfortunate souls? Why isn’t the municipal budget reinforced by an additional amount of approximately EUR 1.6 million from the total of EUR 26 million worth of assets at Ventspils Freeport? Why does this happen year after year? Why do we support different guest artists and athletes so generously while our own people (children, invalids, pensioners and employed people) have to make due with a constant lack of financial support?

Aivars Lembergs and Co refused to answer any of these questions and many other questions. Even our proposal to reduce unnecessary administrative expenses to divert money for social needs was not deemed worthy to discuss. This is why we believe it necessary to inform Ventspils residents about topics Ventas Balss does not write about. The majority of the city council also prefers to remain silent about these topics.

The message of Ventspils City Council deputies Aivis Landmanis and Vladislav Shafranskis to the deputies of Ventspils City Council who approve the 2014 Ventspils budget:

Colleagues!

We stated it multiple times in the past that it is unacceptable to have such an important document be developed without discussions and have only representatives of the ruling party – For Latvia and Ventspils – participate in the development process.

We remind that:

-in direct breach of the Law on Municipalities, deputies of the For Latvia and Ventspils and Vitaly Trusevich of Harmony Centre had declined our right, as the second largest political force in Ventspils, to become part of the city council’s committees and councils, including the Economic and Budget Committee on multiple occasions in the past;

-deputies of For Latvia and Ventspils along with Vitaly Trusevich had made sure that meetings of Ventspils City Council are not broadcasted live, so that their minutes, audio and video recordings are not made available to Ventpils residents;

-For Latvia and Ventspils and Harmony Centre declined our requests to be provided with any information related to the formation of the budget. Our requests to access documents and minutes of the Economy and Budget Committee were declined multiple times;

-our submitted initiative to be allowed to observe Ventspils city budget formation talks during meetings of Ventspils City Council (which would have city council deputies to communicate with their voters and be able to make proposals that defend their interests) was declined by For Latvia and Ventspils and Harmony Centre;

-finally, the political majority of Ventspils City Council (For Latvia and Ventspils and Harmony Centre) have also declined our proposal to reinforce Ventspils City Council’s budget with revenue gained from assets provided to Ventspils Freeport.

We remind that the total worth of the assets provided to the Freeport is estimated at EUR 26 million. The money Ventspils City Council loses every year because of not requesting relevant payments from the Freeport is estimated at EUR 1.6 million.

All of the aforementioned actions of the ruling parties of Ventspils City Council show that For Latvia and Ventspils and Vitaly Trusevich (HC) are afraid of showing residents of Ventspils their developed budget plan. They understand perfectly well that the plans that were developed by them in secret are likely to be disapproved by residents of Ventspils. We are certain that the majority of the population of Ventspils would find it rather questionable to learn that Ventpils City Council spends significant resources to advertise the ruling political party, its image, financing the needs of ‘the right’ people and denies funding to:

social activities – House of Mercy;

pensioners – free public transport services and benefits;

children – events, sports clubs and needs of general education, art and music schools;

culture, healthcare, education and adequate evaluation of the people who work for them.

The offer to allow Ventspils City Council to authorize the Chairman of Ventspils City Council to approve budgets of municipal institutions and dictate the volume of municipal funding for municipal enterprises and Ventspils University College seems especially odd. It is unacceptable to allow individual officials to freely manage funds of the municipal budget reserve fund.

Colleagues!

Residents have granted us, not the Chairman of Ventspils City Council or any of its structures, the functions to manage our fair city. This is why we need to take full responsibility and strengthen the budget of the municipality, its sub-structures, enterprises and associations related to them. And we have to inform residents of our initiatives, so that no one would have any doubts about the budget’s quality and justifications behind any and all budget fund division priorities.

The document we see today does not provide these things.

This is why we offer you to have a look at our plan:

OFFERED PROJECT:

1.Take into consideration the approval of the offered Ventspils City municipal budget for 2014 (in accordance with annex No 1), Ventspils city special budget (funds intended for special goals) for 2014 (in accordance with annex No 2), Ventspils City municipality’s gifts and donations budget for 2014 (in accordance with annex No 3);

2.Secure the following for Ventspils City Council Executive Director and Ventspils City Council’s Finance Department:

2.1.Increase of Ventspils City municipal budget’s increase by EUR 1.6 million by leasing assets owned by Ventspils City Council at Ventspils Freeport;

2.2.Increase of Ventspils City budget’s expenses by the amount mentioned in the previous point (EUR 1.6 million). Reduce the funding proposed for marketing, advertisement and publicity by EUR 0.3 million and divert the remaining amount for the following goals:

free public transport services for pensioners within limits of Ventspils city;

funding of social events through non-governmental organizations – ‘House of Mercy’, ‘Cimdiņš’ and others;

provide activities for youth and children within the city’s infrastructure (sports clubs and school, various interest groups which provide general education, art, music school, cultural centres and others);

promotion of cultural, sports and social events for Ventspils residents.

3.Allow the review of ‘Ventspils City municipal budget for 2014′ for Ventspils City Council’s Finance Department in three readings:

3.1.deputies of Ventspils City Council are given no less than 10 work days to develop and submit written proposals;

3.2.voting for Ventspils City Council deputies’ proposals is to be held on the next city council meeting that includes the review of regulations for Ventspils city budget for 2014 with participation of specialists who will decide whether or not budget proposals are to be approved;

3.3.deputies of Ventspils City Council are to be presented with the budget project at least 10 days prior to review at Ventspils City Council in full volume and edition as it is accepted by the Economy and Budget Committee.

It should also be added that our (Aivis Landmanis and Vladislav Shafranskis) proposed project was declined by the ruling parties as they have the majority of votes. The following deputies of Ventspils City Council voted AGAINST our project: Aivars Lembergs, Jānis Vītoliņš, Didzis Ošenieks, Ilze Buņķe, Dainis Gīlis, Andris Grigalis, Aigo Gūtmanis, Aldis Savinskis, Vitālijs Trusevičs.

ABSTAINED: Dace Korna.

DID NOT PARTICIPATE: Guntis Blumbergs.

P.S.

Vitaly Trusevich, who was elected from Harmony Centre in spite of failed promises to provide pensioners with free public transport services. He opposed the proposal to allocate adequate funding for “Cimdiņš” and “Home of Mercy” and other initiatives.

King regards

Deputies of Ventspils City Council

Aivis Landmanis

Vladislav Shafranskis


Leave a reply

  1. El Curio says:

    Does Lembergs ever stop smiling?

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Saeima approves next year’s budget; more funding for health and defence

On Thursday, 23 November, the Saeima approved Latvia’s budget for 2018. Next year’s budget revenue is planned at EUR 8.75 billion, whereas expenditures are planned at EUR 8.95 billion. The largest increase of funding is planned for healthcare. Latvia’s defence budget is set to reach 2% of GDP

Ķuzis: 94% of sex crimes against children are committed by people they know

Approximately half of sex crimes committed against minors take place on the internet, said Chief of State Police Ints Ķuzis at a press-conference on protection of children against sexual violence.

European Parliament approves use of EU Solidarity Fund’s advance payments

European Parliament’s Budget Committee has approved MEP Inese Vaidere’s submitted report on the use of advance payments from the EU Solidarity Fund in 2018, as reported by European People’s Party group Latvian press and communication advisor Ģirts Salmgriezis.

Authorities unmask illegal trade of products made from protected animals

Nature Protection Office and State Police have stepped up their efforts to increase control over trade of products made from endangered and protected species in the past month. Authorities have already confiscated different goods made from animals protected in Latvia and the world.

Swedbank survey: youngsters want stability; belief in Latvian labour market grows

Stability and income predictability are two of the most important values for Latvian youngsters when planning their future jobs. According to a survey performed by Swedbank, 53% of youngsters would gladly start working in an existing company.

Myanmar and Bangladesh to sigh refugee return agreement

In South-Eastern Asia, Myanmar plans to sign an agreement with neighbouring Bangladesh on the return of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, who have fled to the latter, while rights organisations point to atrocities committed by Myanmar's military.

Polish shipbuilder accused of bribing Port of Tallinn management

A senior executive of Remontowa Shipbuilding, a Polish shipbuilding company, is facing accusations of handing large bribes to former senior figures Port of Tallinn, the Estonian state-owned port operator.

Lībiņa-Egnere may be appointed head of Saeima’s National Security Committee

Unity member Inese Lībiņa-Egnere may be appointed as the new head of Saeima’s National Security Committee, as reported by Latvijas Avīze.

Expert: real estate transaction volume this year may reach 100 million euros

The volume of commercial real estate transactions in Baltic States may exceed EUR 1 billion. Latvia, meanwhile, remains behind its neighbouring countries because the volume of transactions in the country may reach EUR 100 million, says CEO of Colliers International Deniss Kairāns.

Finnish medication prescriptions to be valid in Estonia

In Estonia, Finland's digital prescriptions of medications will be valid from summer 2018 and vice versa – from around mid-2019.

Talks commence on restoring ferry traffic between Ventspils and Saaremaa

On Wednesday, 22 November, a delegation from Saaremaa municipality arrived at Vetnspils Freeport to discuss with representatives of Ventspils municipality and freeport the proposal to restore ferry traffic between Saaremaa and Ventspils.

Family of killed Maltese journalist take police to court

The family of the killed Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has sued police believing that it does not perform an impartial investigation.

Saeima reduces VAT for vegetables, berries and fruits typical for Latvia

Starting 2018, a reduced VAT rate will be applied for fresh fruits, berries and vegetables in Latvia. This is provided by amendments approved by the Saeima on 22 November for Law on Value Added Tax.

Georgian anti-terrorist raid ends tragically

In the Georgian capital Tbilisi, security officers have conducted an anti-terrorist raid in an apartment, where a shoot-out has started and three suspected militants and a special forces' soldier have been killed.

Jerošenko: Ušakovs offers unhealthy policy, Harmony is used as Lembergs’ «satellite party»

«Cooperation between Harmony and Aivars Lembergs’ Union of Greens and Farmers has always existed. It existed even before Harmony first appeared in Riga City Council. The situation is the same in the Saeima, even though Concord is in the opposition. Still, in situations when one or the other matter important to Lembergs appears, one does not have to be a great politologist to notice the ties between those parties...

Bosnian Serb commander punished with life imprisonment for Srebrenica

The UN the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia handed a life imprisonment sentence to Ratko Mladić after it found the former commander of Bosnian Serb forces guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity committed in the 1990s during the Bosnian War.

EC positive about Latvia’s 2018 budget project

Based on the conclusion from the European Commission, Latvia’s budget project for 2018 fully fits conditions listed in the Stability and Growth Pact. In accordance with EC’s estimates, the structural balance of Latvia’s general budget is viewed at -1.8% of GDP. Government budget expenditures, on the other hand, are expected to grow by 7.1 percentage points.

Producer price level in Latvia declined 0.2% in October

Compared to September, the level of producer prices in Latvian industry dropped by 0.2 % in October 2017. Prices of products sold on the domestic market decreased by 0.5 %, while prices of exported products went up by 0.1 %.

Vaškevičs feels «harsh but fair» attitude from court justice system in Austria

Former deputy director of Latvia’s State Revenue Service Vladimirs Vaškevičs, who is accused of bribery and whose extradition from Austria has been a priority for Latvian authorities for some time now, says he feels «harsh but, thank God, fair» attitude from the Austrian court justice system.

Antāne: lost Russian cargoes have cost Latvia nearly 50 million in nine months

Latvia’s economy has lost nearly EUR 50 million in nine months because of missed Russian transit cargoes. While Russian Railway had approved 90% of oil and coal cargoes for transit through Ventspils port at the beginning of the year, this amount had declined to a mere 5% by September, says Baltic Association – Transport and Logistics President Inga Antāne.

In pictures: Museum of painter, Holocaust survivor Bak opened in Vilnius

In Vilnius, a museum to Jewish-Polish painter Samuel Bak has been opened. During the occupation of Lithuania by the Nazi Germany, the artist survived the Holocaust in the country.

Ratio of old people and invalids on a rise among unemployed people

The total number of unemployed people has been decreasing in recent years. However, the ratio of old people and invalids continues increasing in the ranks of unemployed people. On top of that, the number of lasting unemployed people remains high and largely unchanged in the country.

Saaremaa looking into possible ferry traffic to Latvia

The local government of the largest Estonian island is looking into possible interest of five shipping companies in opening ferry traffic between Saaremaa and Latvia.

Balta: exhaustion and overload are the most common causes for accidents at work

More than EUR 20,000 has been paid in compensations for injuries acquired at work this year so far, according to information from insurance association Balta. Compared with the same period of last year, the number of accidents has grown 40%.

Estonian town tempts population to reregister with spa in Latvia and 100 euro payment

The town of Keila, located 25 kilometres away from Tallinn, has started a one-and-a-half month campaign to motivate its residents to register back in the town as many of them have registered in the Estonian capital, which grants free public transport to its population.