December 12 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Public sector organisations across Suffolk have warned they are facing cuts of almost 40% in their government grants over the next two years.
Leaders of local authorities and the Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore have warned that the reductions are likely to have a major effect on services.
Suffolk County Council is set to lose about £50 million from its budget – which amounts to about 10% of its total budget once other funding sources are included.
District and borough councils are facing a loss of between 47% and 49% of their government grant and the county is set to lose 37% of its grant. The total loss facing the councils in Suffolk is £62.8 million.
Conservative county council leader Mark Bee warned: “It’s important that we do not underestimate the scale of the financial challenge facing local government in the next two years.
“But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that we can do, together, to help manage the challenge.
“Local government needs to lead by example and find ways of working together to make the savings that are needed.”
However the Labour leader of Ipswich council David Ellesmere warned the cuts could be devastating.
He said: “This shows the full extent of the Government’s failure. They claim the economy is growing, but the cuts keep coming and they are now so bad that even once-loyal Tory councillors are prepared to speak out.
“Let’s be absolutely clear. What the Government is planning will lead to big cuts in council services across Suffolk over the next few years.”
He said the borough was set to lose £3.15 million in 2015/16 because it would no longer have the new homes bonus.
And he was not the only council leader to express concern.
The Conservative leaders of Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils, Jennie Jenkins and Derrick Haley issued a joint statement saying: “Make no mistake: this is the most fundamental cut in the block government grant that any of us have experienced during our time as councillors.
“It comes on top of years where both our councils have found savings after savings.
“But just imagine how you would cope if half of your salary was taken away from you? Come what may it is going to be tough.
“Of course, there are opportunities to bid for specific grants based on performance and our councils, working with others across Suffolk, will be ruthless in getting the best for our communities.
“But a loss of nearly half of our main source of funding will have implications as to what we can and cannot do”.