Cuts to council services will be ‘unrelenting’

breaking news
breaking news

Derbyshire County Council’s Leader has laid bare the effect of ‘unrelenting’ Government budget cuts which will force the end of some services.

The council is reviewing its five year financial plan and this has confirmed that it is facing the toughest cuts in the council’s history.

Cuts in Government grants – which make up 68 per cent of the council’s budget – inflation and greater demands on services for older people and vulnerable children mean the county council needs to cut £157m from its budget by 2018.

As part of this £157m reduction, the authority’s Cabinet will meeton Tuesday, July 15 to consider further potential budget reductions over the next three years totalling nearly £70m.

If all the proposals go ahead, the result could be around 2,000 fewer jobs at the county council over the next three years on top of the 1,600 announced last year.

It is hoped that job losses will be minimised by not replacing staff who leave and by voluntary redundancy and early retirement schemes.

Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Anne Western said: “In 2010, the Government told us these cuts would last for five years.

“With every year that has passed since, the cuts have got deeper and stretch further into the future. We need to be absolutely clear – we do not want to make these unrelenting cuts which will affect services local people rely on. The Government has left us no choice and we are having to think the unthinkable. Its budget reductions mean we have to cut our spending on local services by more than a third. We’re laying our cards on the table because we want local people to understand the scale of what we’re dealing with and this is what we need to do to balance the books over the next three years.

“We’re doing all we can to protect services from cuts by continually looking for new and better ways of doing things.”

Proposals include cutting the budget for Direct Care - the care provided by council social care workers to hundreds of people across its residential homes, day care, extra support services and in people’s homes - by 25 per cent; closing up to 23 children’s centres; ending the b_line concessionary travel and discount scheme for 11 to 19 year olds; removing school crossing patrols in 2015; gritting fewer roads; cutting grants to voluntary and community groups and reducing staffing and opening hours for libraries.