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:
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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