£80 million of cuts being demanded at Cumbria County Council
Last updated at 08:38, Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Another eye-watering £80 million of cuts are being demanded at Cumbria County Council.
Job losses are inevitable as staff brace themselves for the fallout from another wave of Government-driven austerity measures.
The stinging savings needed in the next three financial years are on top of £88m-worth of cuts in the past three.
Hundreds of jobs have been lost with the council already and services changed because of dramatic drops in the amount of money from Westminster to local authorities.
The stark challenge faced by the county council is outlined in a budget planning update being presented to councillors today.
And the report is clear about the impact of continuing cuts when it states: “Given the scale of the planned savings for 2014 onwards, workforce reductions and redundancies are inevitable.
“Formal statutory consultation will be required with trade unions and staff who are in the scope of proposed changes.
“It is intended that voluntary redundancy will be considered, reflecting the scope and nature of the efficiencies required.
“Every effort will be made to minimise and mitigate job losses, although the scale of the necessary savings means that compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out as a last resort.”
The next financial year, starting in April, will be the fifth in which councils have had to shoulder cuts in Government funding. Changes to other cash streams will also have to be taken into consideration.
Early estimations are that the county council will have to save £24.4m in 2014/15, £31.2m in 2015/16 and £24.3m in 2016/17 – totalling £79.9m.
The final level of cuts needed next year will not be confirmed until the settlement for local authorities is announced in December.
Council leaders say they will do all they can to mitigate job losses while protecting frontline services, with the authority’s responsibilities including roads, social services, the county’s fire service and public health.
Jo Stephenson, the county’s deputy leader, said: “It’s going to be very difficult.”
How the cuts will hit services is not yet clear, but all departments will be affected.
“There’s no choice about this. We need to find the money,” Mr Stephenson said.
“We’re looking at all the council’s activities to see where efficiencies can be made.
“We want to protect frontline services as much as possible.”
Councillors will be briefed on the budget’s progress at a full meeting of the county council in Kendal today.
They are expected to be presented with a proposed draft budget to consider when they meet in February.
Staff and public consultation on the budget will take place.
First published at 08:35, Wednesday, 11 September 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
People can wish all they like for "cuts at the top" but what it will mean is fewer workers doing the jobs we need: social workers, school cleaners, librarians, bin men, etc. It will mean public services suffer and thus the people who depend of public services will also suffer.Of course the biggest blame is on central government and their obsession with cutting local councils' funding, but to a lesser extent on the councils for a lack of initiative, fight and lateral thinking. Their thinking is simple: they cut our money so we cut your services. No-one seems to consider ways of increasing income or how they can combine services or refuse to make cuts to call the Govt's bluff. They just pass on the cuts to the poorest in the county.
Should be easy,start with the non producing management & work down to the road crews ( whenever you drive past road works,there seems to be 4 diggers.2 lorries & 12 workers plus a1000 cones to fill a pot hole!! & your lucky if 1 person is working!!!!)
Then stop all council banquets/buffets & their nice chilled bottles of Evan water!buy their own like everyone else has too!
Should be more than enough!!
View all 4 comments on this article