Cambridgeshire County Council makes savings to offset �5m Government cuts

ALL Cambridgeshire County Council departments are to be asked to make one per cent saving to help offset more than �5million Government cuts to the authority’s budget.

The council is to lose �2.93million of grants – money that goes mostly into education and social services – and �2.47million meant for building project such as schools and roads.

That is in addition to the �80million savings that the council has already pledged to make over the next five years.

Councillor John Reynolds, the council’s cabinet member for resources and performance, said: “We are not going to overreact to this additional changes. It will put further pressure on us but we will find ways to deliver these additional savings.”

Now the council is to ask every one of its departments to find around one per cent saving which would equate to �3.5million.

Cllr Reynolds said: “That will go a long way to making up for some of the reductions the Government has announced.

“The crucial issue is that we should have a long term approach to reducing our expenditure. We will transform our services and focus where there is real need.

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“The cuts will affect large numbers of people but these are difficult times and we are all having to cut expenses.”

One major transformations planned is to reduce staff numbers in the “back offices”. But key areas such as education, children’s services and elderly care will be protected.

Cllr Reynolds said: “Our focus is on achieving savings but preserving frontline services as far as possible within very tight financial restraints. Some of the other areas will have to do with less support.”

In February the council announced that 350 posts would go within the next five years. Most of it will be through natural wastage but, Cllr Reynolds said, while every effort will be made to retrain people and offer them jobs in other departments, there will be some redundancies.

“We will do everything we can to minimise it,” he added.

The amount of money that central government gives to local authorities is being cut by �1.166billion nationally – �878million cuts in the annual allocation and �288million for buildings and transport projects.

? Of the �878million only some �451million (51 per cent) has been identified to individual councils. The balance of �427million (49 per cent) has not yet been disclosed.

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