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Cash-hit council's "fundamental look" at services
8:00am Thursday 20th December 2012 in News
CONCERNS have been raised that Thurrock Council may have to take a “fundamental look” at its role within the community and the services it delivers.
Members of the council’s cabinet said last week they are worried that “never ending” and “ever increasing” cuts to Government funding are sending the council to “tipping point”.
This comes after leader Cllr John Kent announced at the meeting that following the Chancellor’s autumn statement, the council could receive £13million less from the Government in the next four years.
This means additional savings will have to be found and deeper cuts to services made, despite a planned council tax hike of 2 per cent.
Cllr Kent said: “These are the cuts in grant we’re expecting.
“They don’t take into account things such as inflation, or the increasing numbers of vulnerable children or elderly people in our communities in need of support.
“Nor does it take into account Thurrock’s increasing population or ageing school and health buildings.
“We’ve always expected cuts, but it seems at the moment to be never ending and ever increasing.
“We’ve identified many possible savings and efficiency options, but as things currently stand we’re looking at a budget gap of around £6.5million in 2014/15 and nearly £13million in 2015/16.
“It’s getting to the point where if every cloud has a silver lining, it would be better if Thurrock’s was literal rather than metaphorical.”
Deputy council leader Cllr Val Morris-Cook added: “There’s nothing wrong with looking at efficiencies, but there does come a tipping point where you can no longer deliver services you need to.
“We’re getting close to the point where we have to fundamentally look at what the council delivers as a service.”
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