Council faces "unprecedented challenges" as budget gets cut again
Telford & Wrekin Council says it faces “unprecedented challenges” after the Comprehensive Spending Review announced today.
The Council hopes that further details of the implications for its budget will be issued by Government later in December. It was confirmed that deep cuts to local government will continue, with a cut of £6.1billion to the government grant over the life of this parliament.
Telford & Wrekin Council has already cut £80m from its budget since 2010 and the government’s Autumn Statement has not altered the expectation that a further £30m will need to be cut over the next three years.
Budget proposals will inevitably lead to changes in a number of key services and it is very clear that the Council will not be able to do everything that it has done until this point.
The Council will as a result be looking to start talks with groups like town and parish councils and voluntary organisations about how they could get involved in the delivery of services.
Councillor Lee Carter, cabinet member for Finance, said the next wave of Government cuts would have the greatest effect yet on frontline services and this time the community would be hit really hard.
The council has continued income generation initiatives such as the solar farm and Nuplace as well as attracting inward investment to help protect frontline services. However this is now not enough, although the council will continue to seek new sources of income.
The council is already developing ideas for savings proposals and will hold an extensive consultation from the beginning of January before any final decisions on how it will meet the new savings targets.
Councillor Carter said: “We’ve been very straight with our local community – sadly we will have some very difficult decisions to make – ones that we had hoped we would never have to make but the scale of cuts in Government grant mean are now left with no choice.
“We will consult with the community about the implications of a range of potential cuts which will have significant consequences for local people. Our consultation is likely to include over 30 face to face sessions, on top of the variety of other ways people can engage and contribute.
“We will be tireless in getting out to our parish and town councils, voluntary organisations and other partners talk to them about how, in partnership, we can work better together and try to minimise the impact of cuts on services that our residents rely on and demand.”