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The council cuts likely to be announced this week

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: January 27, 2014

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WAYS in which Derbyshire County Council will plug a hole of nearly £40 million in its budget are expected to be announced this week.

The authority needs to save £36.7 million during 2014 and 2015 and bosses were due to decide at a cabinet meeting yesterday on what measures would have to be taken to cut spending from its future budget.

The Labour-run council is expected to make a string of cuts to services in the wake of the huge reduction in its Government grant which it says comes at a time of increasing financial burdens, such as an ageing population and rises in landfill tax.

The financial constraints could also mean hundreds of staff will be made redundant.

Should the proposed cuts be given the go-ahead savings will be made in adult care, services geared towards children and adults, economy, transport and environment spending, corporate resources and health and communities.

In adult car, the council is proposing to make its biggest saving of £11.9 million. Personal budgets will be slashed and fewer people will receive the council’s subsidised frozen meals and laundry services.

A flat rate charge of £5 will be introduced for people seeking transport to day-care services, which will be held in fewer buildings. Fewer people will qualify for care and less training will be performed.

People who need carers will have to pay more towards their service and money for housing-related support services will be substantially cut.

Just over £6 million will be cut from the children and young adults budget which could lead to the closure of seven children’s centres and more parents having to pay for school transport.

Around £7.3 million is due to be cut from the transport and environment budget and proposals include spending less on maintaining roads and pavements, turning more street lights off at night and increasing parking charges.

The council will also look to save £2.5 million by altering the way it operates - much of which would be achieved through redundancies but less would be spent on publications and publicity, phone call tariffs to the council would rise and less would be spent on maintaining council buildings.

Much of the health and communities budget is protected but £1.3 million of savings are being proposed.

Council leader Anne Western said the budget proposals were regrettable.

She said: “We don’t want to cut services but we’ve got no choice. We’ve got to reduce our budget by £157m by 2018.

“Despite what some people may think, we haven’t got a bottomless purse.

“We’re getting less money from the Government, which is why we’re going to consider increasing council tax by 1.99%, but that alone is not enough.”

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