Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
City council cuts to go deeper
CUTS in spending at Worcester City Council will carry on until at least 2019 - with bosses revealing they expect to whack another £400,000 onto the tally.
The authority, which is dealing with dwindling Government funding amid the public sector spending squeeze, is now aiming to chop £3.5m off the budget by 2018/19.
The new figure, revealed in an in-house report, is over and above previous predictions of £3.1m by 2017/18.
The council is currently preparing to relaunch its savings blueprint, known as the Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS).
Forecasts which run alongside that are now being extended by one year in a bid to benefit from more long-term planning.
As your Worcester News revealed last month, councillors are being urged to “think the unthinkable” in coming up with ideas for making savings.
It includes reducing street cleaning and grass cutting in the city, asking community groups to maintain roundabouts and sports pitches, and making better use of convicted criminals.
A report published for the Labour cabinet, which is being discussed tonight, says bosses aim to add 2018/19 as a new year for the forecast.
It also says that between 2015 and 2018/19, it expects Government funding to decline a staggering 36 per cent.
The Labour leadership says it is preparing a “worst case scenario” in the hope the final funding from Government comes in ahead of predictions.
Councillor Richard Boorn, the cabinet member for finance, said: “The first thing people need to realise is, local government has been the most efficient section of government for a long time.
“The austerity which is being imposed on councils means we must all pay a price, and this is a case of ‘let’s look at the worst case scenario’.
“If we didn’t do that and our figures ended up wrong, we’d end up in a situation where we’d have to take ridiculous decisions which affect people’s lives.
“By taking a long term view we can do it in the most compassionate way possible while still delivering the essential services people need.”
Prime Minister David Cameron revealed two weeks ago that he expects public sector funding to go on being squeezed until 2020.
It comes amid hope the UK economy is slowly turning the corner, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) saying last week that it expects it to grow 1.4 per cent in 2013, double previous estimates.
Comments are closed on this article.