Council warns ‘no one is safe’ from cuts
A COUNCIL boss warned last night there can be “no sacred cows” as his authority prepares to make sweeping cuts in the face of a funding shortfall.
Suffolk Coastal District Council is now drawing up options that will indicate the impact on services if budgets were reduced by 20% or 30%.
The authority has predicted that - despite saving more than �10m since 2001 - it could be facing a funding shortfall of �2.5m by March 2014.
The picture should become clearer after the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review announcement on October 20 but the authority is getting ready for bad news.
Ray Herring, leader of Suffolk Coastal District Council, said: “No-one really knows quite what the funding implications for local councils will be but we have to be prepared for the worst because of the need to cut the country’s massive budget gap.
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“There can no longer be any sacred cows, we will have to look at those services we are legally required to provide to see how savings can be wrung out of them or even if we need to still do it.
“Thinking and costing the unthinkable is what our officers and Cabinet members now have to do – we have a track record of delivering radical transformation and we must be ready to go even further in future.”
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In the past few years Suffolk Coastal District Council has pressed ahead with a number of measures to try and reduce costs - most recently agreeing to share its senior management team with Waveney District Council, a move that will save �400,000 a year across both authorities.
Mr Herring said once further plans for savings had been drawn up they would be consulting with members of the public.
“We gained some useful ideas from residents last year as to what their priorities would be regarding services and where savings could be made,” he said. “Once we have proposals that we can share we will seek the views of our communities on them.”
Anyone who has any further ideas on how money can be saved can e-mail email@example.com or write to Mr Herring at Suffolk Coastal’s Melton Hill offices or email firstname.lastname@example.org.