by peterdownes on 20 January, 2011
The County Council has unveiled its ‘Integrated Plan’ covering the next five years, which aims to save £50.4 million in 2011/12 and £160.6 million over the life of the plan. The proposals are the Council’s answer to the most difficult financial situation in its history, as the Council deals with the increasing pressures of demand, an increasing and ageing population and inflation coupled with a 14 per cent reduction in the core funding received from Government. The package is a mixture of efficiency savings and radical service reductions. The cuts cover all aspects of the Council’s business:
Direct support to some children and young people will end, saving
The Council aims to save
In Libraries, Learning and Culture, the Council will save
Working in partnership with other councils to provide support services and creating a Trust to run libraries will save a further £294,000.
In social care, promoting prevention and localism will save £2.9 million, adopting reablement cuts a further £4.75 million, and decreasing the cost of high cost and complex placements will save £1.3 million. In Environment Services, a proposed restructure of Trading Standards saves £641,000 over four years. Spending on environment and climate change drops by £492,000, restructuring waste services will save £159,000 and a proposed reduction in senior management will save £100,000.
Cuts in highways services save £2.4 million, and restructuring Highways and Access £1.1 million. In public transport, phasing out subsidised bus services will save £2.7 million.
In Corporate Directorates, over a four-year period, reducing properties and maximizing office space in retained buildings will save over £1 million, reducing the contact centre opening hours and standards and moving more services being accessed and delivered online £426,000, reducing IT functions and delivering services in different ways will save £989,000 and reducing communications and marketing activity will save up to £550,000. The Conservatives claim that “we will focus more than ever on our priorities, so our proposals will protect the most vulnerable, help people to live independent and healthy lives, and promote economic growth.”
The reality is that life in Cambridgeshire is going to get a whole lot harder for the young, the old and the infirm. There will be no increase in council tax as the government has promised a 2.5% increase in grant to councils that keep their tax at last year’s level. This is a small consolation to taxpayers but at a price to those who need better services most.Leave a comment