Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Worcester City Council cuts "terrible", admits finance chief
WORCESTER City Council is in a “terrible” financial situation and needs to think “outside the box” in order to make the savings needed.
That’s the message from the authority’s elected finance chief, who says the £3 million of cuts required will be a tall order.
Councillor Richard Boorn, cabinet member for finance, says no ideas have been ruled out.
It follows last week’s revelation, as revealed in your Worcester News, that at least £3m needs to be chopped off spending by 2017/18.
“We’ve got to put a strategy down which will show people how we will deal with the situation,” he said.
“It is what it is, at the end of the day we can moan about it all we like, and it is terrible, but we’ve got to focus on delivering the best services we can while making these savings.
“We have to look at all aspects of saving money and nothing is off the agenda.
“I would encourage ‘out the box thinking’ as sometimes that gives you the best ideas.”
Some of the suggestions so far include handing allotments and sports pitches to the community to maintain, and asking the public to look after roundabouts.
Another idea, to get convicted criminals to do unpaid work, is already being done, meaning the scope to roll it out further is somewhat limited.
The city’s Liberal Democrat group, which helps run the council alongside Labour, said it was backing Coun Boorn’s stance.
Councillor Liz Smith, Lib Dem group leader, said: “Obviously, it’s a huge ask to save this amount of money.
“I am concerned about it because it’s difficult to see how it’s going to be done. “It will take a lot of new thinking.”
Rival politicians have reiterated their warnings over commissioning - urging the administration to not slow it down.
The Conservative group is also against giving 58 lowest paid workers the Living Wage, which would cost £24,000 in the first year.
The Labour leadership wants to bring it in from January for an initial period of 12 months.
Councillor Marc Bayliss, Tory group deputy leader, said: “A real problem is Labour’s back tracking on commissioning - in a way they are the architects of their own financial problems.
“Giving staff the Living Wage only adds to the overall picture.”
Comments are closed on this article.