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The council signed off on its annual report yesterday for a financial year that began with an unbalanced budget amid uncertainty arising from the pandemic.
Mr Hawkins said the city’s governance team could be grateful for how things turned out.
The 2020-21 year ended up being in the black.
Mr Hawkins thanked council staff for their hard work and his colleagues for resisting the temptation to slash operating budgets.
Hindsight showed this would have resulted in less work getting done and could have achieved nothing, other than satisfying "razor gangs" and those who wanted to pursue an austerity drive.
Deputy mayor Christine Garey said the annual report contained evidence the council had listened to its community and achieved necessary work.