Package of cutbacks unveiled by council

A £1.5 million package of cutbacks has been drawn-up by Amber Valley Borough Council following reductions in Government spending.

The authority is considering increasing cemetery charges; slashing Belper leisure centre funding; reducing staff working hours from 37 to 35; increasing licensing fees; ceasing historic building grants; reducing funding to Derwent Valley Mill Regional Transport, Derbyshire Arts Partnership and town twinning as part of the proposals.

Council officers have come up with the savings in readiness for an expected drop in Government grants later this month.

The Leader of Amber Valley Borough Council, Councillor Stuart Bradford, said: “Forecasting savings in the current climate is a huge challenge because it feels like we’re trying to hit a moving target. I believe we have the resilience and the prudence to prepare as best we can for the challenges we face once the Government has made its grant allocations announcement. We are anticipating that the reduction could be as much as £950,000, with future reductions in the order of five per cent in 2014/15 of £270, 000.

“We can’t give a definitive assessment of the financial landscape we are looking at, and some of the proposals will be difficult. However, they are a balance of simple savings, investing where appropriate, and common sense solutions, as part of our drive for a better borough.

“The borough council has a good record of being ahead of the curve, as exemplified by better leisure centres, parks and recycling services, with no increases in the council tax.”