DCSIMG

Warning over service cuts threat

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STRUGGLING council bosses in Wakefield have warned residents to brace themselves for the impact of yet more multi-million pound cuts.

Senior councillors next week face the grim task of considering how they will save another £69m over the next four years because of changes in government funding.

That figure is on top of the £41m of budget savings already made by the authority.

And in the face of the unprecedented cuts, council leader Peter Box admitted big changes to services were inescapable.

He said: “The council was already facing a huge financial challenge across the next few years on top of the £41m budget savings we have already made. However the government has now forced us into a position where we will have to spend 25 per cent less on the direct services we deliver to our residents.

“Our priorities must remain to protect the vulnerable and those most in need. But there is no doubt that tough decisions and significant changes to some services are now unavoidable.”

Council bosses say in 2010/11 the authority spent £433m on direct services to residents.

The new figures mean that, after taking into account inflation, the council will be spending 25 per cent less by 2016/17. Staffing costs had already been cut by 13 per cent within the last two years, which includes a 28 per cent reduction in senior management posts.

Coun Box added: “In order to ensure we can protect essential and major public services we must keep our budget financial plans under constant review.

“But this becomes increasingly difficult when the government announce yet more cuts giving us little or no time to make plans to deal with them.”

Cabinet members will discuss the cuts at a meeting on Nov 6.

 

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