Council funding boost comes with warning

AN EXTRA �13.8million is to be pumped into council services in Suffolk next year - but the county council has warned that future budgets are likely to be placed under severe pressure because of Government spending cuts.

Graham Dines

AN EXTRA �13.8million is to be pumped into council services in Suffolk next year - but the county council has warned that future budgets are likely to be placed under severe pressure because of Government spending cuts.

The 2010-11 budget has been protected by ministers because it completes the three-year cycle of income guaranteed to local authorities by Whitehall.

It means that in the run-up to the General Election, there will be no savage cuts in county council services. However, the council has warned that it will only delay the “extremely tough decisions” which will have to be taken for most of the rest of the decade.


You may also want to watch:


Suffolk intends to put an extra �9.8million into services to protect vulnerable people including �3.4million into creating extra care packages for the county's increasing elderly population, �1.6m on improving services for looked after children, �1.7million will be invested in front line social work staff and youth workers, and �1.3m to boost adult services.

The balance of the �13.8m will go to meeting the council's landfill tax liability of �1.6m, �3m will take care of inflation on existing contracts, �300,000 to subsidies passenger transport, and �1.6m for extra borrowing to fund the capital programme.

Most Read

Two big highways and transport projects in Ipswich will go ahead - the Government is providing most of the cash to improve access to the town centre, and the Haven Gateway is funding the Duke Street junction remodelling.

However, the road maintenance budget will take a hit and full resurfacing will only be carried out on the majority of Suffolk's non A-roads in exceptional circumstances, such as a road has effectively become unmaintainable by other means.

Resources portfolio holder Jane Storey said: “We know that whichever political party forms the next government, harsh spending cuts are on the way.

“Even though the budget settlement to councils for the 2010-11 budget is likely to escape relatively unscathed because the Government has promised to honour its commitment to funding, we know it is only delaying the inevitable.

“Our budget planning for the 2011-12 financial year will be made on a worst case scenario, hoping against hope that we will be able to protect services.

“Since 2005, the council has been extremely efficient through some difficult times which means we are now still in a position to help the people who need us most.

“We have planned well for the future and the county council has consistently been one of the highest performers in the country for cashable efficiency savings.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus