A poster launched today delivers a stark warning to residents about the tough budget decisions the council has to make in February.
The posters, produced at almost no cost to the council, remind residents that the Government has cut the council’s discretionary funding by just under one third, forcing the council to make tough choices about which services are cut and which are protected.
Council Leader, Cllr Steve Reed said; “One in every three pounds has been cut from our net budget by the Government and the impact of this will be felt by every resident. The council has faced extremely tough choices, the hardest for over a generation, and I want residents to understand the context of the choices we face.
“Despite this, we have done everything we can to protect frontline services. Nearly two thirds of the spending reductions have come from back office services rather than the front line, and where we have had to make saving from services we have restructured or reduced them rather than cut them altogether.
“No more than 3% of the savings have involved closing services altogether.”
Despite the impending cuts, the council has worked hard to protect services for vulnerable people. In particular the council is protecting
- Support for children at risk of harm
- Early intervention for struggling families
- Care for children with physical or learning disabilities
- Council run day centres for vulnerable people
- Meals on wheels
- Help to get young people out of gangs
The council has worked hard to save money by freezing pay, reducing staff and sharing services with neighbouring councils. We are selling underused council buildings and exploring how to make more revenue from our parks and open spaces through concerts and public events. This is helping but we still have to take decisions that allow us to set a balanced budget for the coming years.
The Cabinet will discuss budget proposals on the 13th February and the final decisions will be made at the full council meeting on the 29th February.
The posters cost £600 to print but the advertising sites are free to the council.