Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TGNEWS to 80360 or you can email us Click here for details »
Draft budget cuts agreed by cabinet
3:41pm Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
THURROCK Council’s leader has urged members to act “like grown-ups” while the authority sets its budget for this year and next.
Speaking at the cabinet meeting last night, where a host of draft cuts were approved, John Kent said it was important to get the budgets agreed as soon as possible so the council can start planning ahead for an even tougher year in 2015.
He said: “This evening is an important stage in setting the council’s budget as we agree, for consultation purposes, savings proposals that, if accepted, will enable us to set a balanced budget at the end of next month.
“February’s decision will be a unique one here in Thurrock as I will be recommending that we don’t agree one year’s budget, but two years.
“The papers we have before us show that government will be giving Thurrock £12 million less with which to provide services by 2014-15.
“I am confident that the government won’t change its proposals for 2014-15 and equally confident that our careful budgeting and strategy can deal with the challenge too.
“That means there’s no reason why we can’t be a forward-thinking, sensible authority, acting cross-party like grown-ups and actually planning for the future.
“If the council can manage to do this on February 27, then we can immediately start thinking about how we deal with what we know will be the even bigger cuts to come in April 2015.”
The council needs to save a total of £13million this year, and £9million the next.
The proposed cuts include £250,000 to borough police community support officers, £100,000 to the library service, £80,000 by trimming the grass cutting budget by ten per cent, and £50,000 from the fraud team by reducing the spend on agency staff.
The council also hopes to save £200,000 by putting the home to school transport contracts out to tender.
Cuts proposed for 2014 and 2015 include asking the Thameside Theatre in Grays to make savings of £250,000, and cutting the school improvements budget by £125,000.