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Suffolk: D-Day for councils’ future plans as Pickles reveals finance details

PUBLISHED: 06:00 19 December 2012

Jane Storey

Jane Storey

Archant

COUNCILS across the country should today know more about how much the government is going to hit their spending over the next two years.

The local government settlement is due to be announced by Secretary of State Eric Pickles today.

It will confirm what the government will pay to local authorities next year, 2013/14, and give the first indication of what they can expect to receive the following year.

The Chancellor’s autumn statement earlier this month heralded a cut in government support for local authorities across the country by 2% from April 2014.

Suffolk County Council deputy leader Jane Storey said she was not expecting more than “a few tweaks” to next year’s settlement which was announced last December.

She said: “We fear things will quite challenging for the following year, and I am expecting to hear from (Head of Strategic Finance) Geoff Dobson once we know what the situation is.

“It is looking as if 2014/15 will be rather challenging – there will be a 2% reduction in what the government has to distribute. How that affects individual councils will then become clear.”

The council has already started the budget-setting process for next year. Final details are due to be discussed by the cabinet in January and to be set by the full council the following month.

A few days later the county’s districts and boroughs are due to set their council tax rates ready for bills to be sent out to households.

All the latest updates on whether Highways England plans to close the Orwell Bridge.

A damning report into the failings of a mental health facility in Essex plunged it into special measures for the second time – prompting bosses to close the service.

Ipswich Hospital bosses should be proud of the services they provide, a health watchdog’s chief inspector said as he gave the trust glowing feedback in a new report.

Oliver Sheppard, 28, of Park Road in Clacton, was sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court on January 16 after pleading guilty there on January 8.

One man was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

Concerns had been raised about safety in the area

Nearly nine nurses a day are leaving the NHS across the East of England, new figures reveal.

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