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Thurrock Council set to see huge reduction in funding
9:45am Friday 20th December 2013 in News
THURROCK Council is set to see tens of millions of pounds cut from its budget in the coming years.
In the next two years, the council will see a reduction of nearly £16 million, a massive 34 per cent difference compared to today’s funding.
From 2015-2017, savings in excess of £33 million will have to made, something council leader John Kent described as “horrifying.”
The council announced the numbers following the government announcing its Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement on Wednesday.
Mr Kent said: “The government will say our ‘spending power’ hasn’t reduced by anywhere near these percentages, but their figures include money that is directly targeted as specific services, ring fenced to such things as public health where we had such good news this week.
“But it is in the non-specific grants where we are facing major problems in the years to come.
“Prudently we saw this coming and have already taken steps to prepare. We’re currently approaching the middle of a two-year budget agreed back in February, so we are already well on the way to making next year’s savings although this week’s announcement is a little worse than we had feared.
“But it is the budgets for April 2015, 2016 and 2017 that are horrifying where we will have to save somewhere in excess of £33 million.”
He added: “We want to provide better services for local people and we still want to do that despite these frightening numbers. As I have been saying for the past two or three years, the only way to do that is to think differently and to work differently.
“To keep paying for weekly refuse services; to maintain our roads and highways; or to keep paying for our older people and vulnerable youngsters to be safe and secure, we will have to find even more new ways of spending the reducing money we are going to get.”
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