Peter Downes

Liberal Democrat Action Team for Brampton and Kimbolton division Learn more

County Council decides budget for 2011-2012 – cuts confirmed

by peterdownes on 17 February, 2011

Financial background: the government has made major reductions in the grant to local authorities and this has necessitated expenditure reductions of £50 million in 2011-2012 (out of a budget of £460m). Over the  5 year period the savings will amount to £160 million.

This reduction will be achieved by:

  • Efficiency savings
  • Providing the same service but in a different way
  • Reducing the level of service to the public

 

There will be no council tax increase in 2011-2012, nor for any of the following four years.

The emphasis will be on reducing ‘universal services’ and targeting resources on the most vulnerable.

Examples of the effects in 2011-2012 of the above policy:

Children and Young People                                                                Cut

 

Early Years Team/support for Early Years settings                                                  £106k

            Reduction in core activities and stopping of support for non-statutory

            functions.

Professional Development Services to schools                                                       £162k

            Reduce support and guidance to schools for curriculum development

and leadership, recruitment and retention, succession planning,

RE, PE and international education

CREDS: support for Black and Minority Ethnic groups (to schools,                  £183k

            Individual children, communities e.g. travellers)

Significant reduction in support for achievement of children from BME

groups and new arrivals, including Eastern European, significant reduction in

support for community cohesion

Services to Disabled Children                                                                                        £202k

Review of all services to disabled children including improved efficiency and delivery of in-house provision. Consideration of use of voluntary/private

providers of some resources and re-focus on children with Tier 3 and 4 needs.

ESLAC                                                                                                                                  £184k

            50% reduction in education services for Looked After Children and

Reforming the service to provide an advisory role rather than a direct input

Support packages, children in need                                                                             £198k

            Reduction in demography funding allocated. Demand to be managed by

            working with children and young people with tier 3 and 4 needs

Youth service                                                                                                                      £200k

            Demographic pressures met from existing service base – services will be

spread more thinly

Youth opportunity and capital funds                                                                            £411k

            Ceasing uncommitted grant programmes and redirecting Early Intervention

Grant  funding to focus on children with higher levels of need.

Teenage pregnancy                                                                                                          £79k

            A significantly reduced capacity to coordinate activities to reduce teenage

            pregnancy or to support  performance and quality assurance.

Positive activities for young people                                                                              £67k

Sports and hobbies  grants have enabled locality teams in East Cambs and Fenland to offer a range of targeted and accredited sports activities for

vulnerable young people. These will stop. Arts and culture funding has been

used to provide positive arts-based activities for young people, such as those who are at risk of becoming socially excluded.

Reduction in ‘Connexions’ service                                                                               £75k

            Less guidance available from CCC. Responsibility transferred to schools

Cambridgeshire Music                                                                                                     £200k

Remove all LA funding for area music schools and area/county choirs and orchestras.

Reduce Learning Directorate                                                                                         £513k

Reduced contact with and support for schools, with ‘light touch schools receiving little or no support from the School Improvement team

Community and Adults Services

Mobile Library service reductions                                                                                 £108k

            Service level halved

Reduced funding for buying books etc                                                                       £423k

            Protection ton children’s stock at expense of adults

‘Service transformation’                                                                                                   £100k

            Greater use of volunteers

Efficiency savings                                                                                                             £294k

            Management, professional and support staff re-structuring

Pass on need for efficiency savings to private sector providers                          £8.1m

            Requirement for private residential homes to reduce their charges

           

Reablement                                                                                                                         £3.5m

            Helping people to live in their own homes with support rather than going into care

Additional income from increased charges                                                                £890k

            Increased contributions from clients

Resource Allocation System (RAS)                                                                              ££2.76m

            The Council reduces its offer to older people, and those with mental and physical health problems in the expectation that individuals will become more self reliant.

Day service for people with Learning disabilities                                                     £529k

            Moving away from a buildings based approach to providing day care to a community based approach

Prevention to reduce demand                                                                                        £600k

            Targeting prevention at those with highest need and lowest resilience

Environment services

 

Reduction in Trading Standards                                                                                   £254k

            Reduced activity, concentrating on businesses that do most harm

Reduction in work on climate change                                                                          £492k

            This reduction over two years reduces the climate change work by 70%

Cut revenue-funded medium and long-term highways maintenance                 £1.4m

            10% reduction in routine maintenance

Reduce grass cutting and improve gully emptying efficiency                              £390k

 

Greater efficiency for Highway Services contracts                                                  £559k

 

Reduce traffic signal and activated signs maintenance                                          £80k

 

Delete road safety education in schools and reduce crossing patrols               £35k

 

Remove all subsidies for buses over a four year period                                         £594k

            £450k, £883k and £813k are saved over the subsequent years. £10k will be added to the Community Transport budget for the coming year and a further £100k for subsequent years.

Corporate Services

 

Cease production of ‘Your Cambs’ magazine                                                           £100k

 

Reduce Contact Centre service                                                                                     £240k

            Open for fewer hours in the week

Savings from Shared Service agreement with Northamptonshire                       £1.893m

 

 

Alternative proposals

The Opposition group proposed an alternative budget which would not have avoided all the above measures but greatly reduced the severity of the impact. This would have been funded from more efficiency savings and, in later years, by increasing the Council Tax by 3.4% per year. The public consultation carried out for the County Council by an independent researcher found that the majority of respondents would be prepared to pay more council tax to protect basic services. Road maintenance and libraries were among their highest priorities. The alternative budget proposal was defeated.

Further details of the Council budget proposals and the alternative proposals are available from your County Councillor.

   Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>