Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

Leader vows cuts will not hit services

PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 May 2011

Members of the Suffolk County Council new Cabinet.; Mark Bee

Members of the Suffolk County Council new Cabinet.; Mark Bee

Archant

THE new leader of Suffolk County Council is promising the authority will not walk away from delivering services despite the financial challenges it is facing.

Mark Bee admits the authority’s previous policy – the New Strategic Direction – is dead but also stresses that the financial pressures the council is facing have not gone away.

Instead, Mr Bee told the annual meeting of the county council that his administration would be looking to cut bureaucracy and work more closely with other authorities.

And in an interview with the East Anglian Daily Times, he spelled out how he hoped that would work.

He said: “I was quite clear the New Strategic Direction is gone but the budget pressures haven’t gone and we are still mindful of that.

“What it means is that we continue to look at working with communities, at looking with other agencies and our partners to try to find ways in which current services can be provided or managed by other sources – and we are going to work with them on that.

“We will also want to look at our own structures, our procurement, our estate and property portfolio to see how we can make savings.

“There is still some work to do there, obviously, but I am confident there are real savings we can make in those areas and protect the valuable frontline services at the same time.” He was reluctant to dip into reserves because they could only be spent once – but he felt if the county was “clever” with the way it spent its money, there could be benefits for the county.

He said this could involve helping other bodies to run services – but there was no way the county was going to walk away from services.

He insisted this policy was very different to the New Strategic Direction.

He said: “The NSD was just about saying ‘we are going to stop doing things’ and not necessarily having a clear idea going forward on how they would be run. And it also had a uniform approach across Suffolk.

“This is going to be very different from that. Solutions are going to be different in different parts of the county and I think we’ve got to recognise that.

“But it is also about working more closely with our partners. One of the things that was wrong with the New Strategic Direction was that we didn’t actually include our district and borough councils in the consultation process.

“Many of them are facing exactly the same pressures and working in partnership with them, we can help resolve each others problems – for instance, with our property portfolio.”

He said it could take longer, but added: “The days of the council being a ‘light’ council, being an ‘easy’ council approach which I think underpins the New Strategic Direction, are over. It is now about working with Suffolk to come up with Suffolk solutions.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

A lorry which overturned at the junction 19 A12 Boreham Interchange, Chelmsford, has been righted by police.

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing 25 year-old male from Ipswich, who has not been seen for a week.

Police have halted filling in the landfill cell where they believe the body of missing RAF man Corrie McKeague is located.

Firefighters have returned to scene of a straw fire, which has re-ignited just outside a village near Stowmarket.

Police are investigating a spate of break-ins at allotments in Ipswich.

A couple from Clacton who failed to safeguard more than £40,000 worth of tenants’ deposits as part of their lettings agency business have narrowly avoided prison.

A man who capsized off the coast of Felixstowe owes his life to his life jacket, quick thinking witnesses and the efforts of coastguard and the RNLI.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24