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City council will have to save £250,000 more than originally thought
2:40pm Tuesday 1st January 2013 in News
COUNCIL chiefs in Worcester are facing a fresh blackhole of £250,000 over the next two years, it has emerged.
Bosses say they are prepared to appeal against a worse-than-expected settlement from the Government after figures revealed a massive 14 per cent fall in funding for 2014/15.
Local Government minister Eric Pickles has handed town halls across the country two-year funding deals which show savage reductions.
The city council will get £4.8million for the 2013/14 financial year, a five per cent reduction, with cuts already factored in to balance the books.
The year after, the grant will drop by 14 per cent to £4.1 million, the lowest on record and worse than previous predictions.
Council chiefs have a five-year blueprint for the authority’s finances, called the Medium Term Financial Strategy.
But the new data means bosses need to save another £250,000 on top of the £1.2 million of cuts earmarked by 2015.
The Government will allow town halls to make representations on the funding until mid-January – an option which will be taken up.
Councillor Andy Roberts, the cabinet member for finance, said: “To be absolutely honest we are being asked to make savings on top of savings.
“A lot of money is being taken out of local government, it’s the climate we are in at the moment.
“The reduction is five per cent for next year, which is what we expected – we are not overjoyed by it but that’s the settlement.
“It’s the year after that we were not expecting. We will be making representations about it.”
The city council has already announced there will be 26 job losses over the next two years in a bid to help balance the books, but that will not dent the £250,000 of fresh cuts required.
Worcestershire County Council will not know its funding until January, but has been told to expect a cut of about 2.4 per cent.
That is in line with County Hall’s predictions and will not affect the existing plan to cut up to £100 million from spending by 2016.
Malvern Hills District Council is facing a 15 per cent reduction in 2013/14 and 7.5 per cent the following year, meaning £850,000 must be cut from spending.