Cambridgeshire County Council to axe mobile library, cut payments for school crossing patrols, cut bus subsidies, make the elderly pay more for care - but will keep at you to stop smoking

County council leader Steve Count has today announced £41 million worth of saving for this year

County council leader Steve Count has today announced £41 million worth of saving for this year - Credit: Archant

Cambridgeshire County Council announced proposals today to cut the cash for school crossing patrols, cut subsidies for school travel for those over 16, reduce provision for those with learning disabilities, axe the mobile library service, cut bus subsidies but they will continue to try and stop people from smoking.

Removal of the mobile library service

Removal of the mobile library service - Credit: Archant

Funding for speech and language therapy for young people will go, old people will be told to pay more for more, less will be spent on winter maintenance of our roads, payments to the voluntary sector will be cut and street parking charges in Cambridge will rise significantly.

Council leader Steve Count, said: “The county council and Cambridgeshire communities are facing a massive funding challenge and the savings that will have to be made affects all of our residents.

“We are already making tough decisions and with millions of pounds fewer in the budget this can only get worse, as Government grants dwindle further.

“We have already reduced staff, shared services and made considerable savings. We know we can do more but we have reached a tipping point where frontline services will be further affected.

“These are proposals at the moment and councillors will be asked to look at them and work with officers to change or reduce their impact. Therefore, these proposals could change but we want people to see the scale of the issues we are facing.

“We cannot meet this challenge alone. We want to work with residents, businesses and other organisations as a team to meet this challenge together. There are some simple things, like recycling more; that people can do that will save significant amounts of money for Cambridgeshire residents.

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“From becoming a foster carer, recycling more or simply being a good neighbour we can all make Cambridgeshire a better place.”

County council committees will look at proposals in November to meet the major financial challenge of £41 million savings this year and more than £100 million over the next five years. This follows cumulative savings of £218 million since 2009.

The council warned the scale of savings means that proposals will have an impact on all services, from how the council looks after roads, manages libraries and cares for the most vulnerable.


• Reducing care support for vulnerable adults and older people (including those with mental health needs) – £9.3m

• Removing subsidies for educational transport for over-16s and other proposals - £770,000

• Removing the council’s funding for speech and language therapy for young children - £120,000

• Further reducing funding for Children’s centres over the next two years with a £250,000 reduction next year.

• Reducing the total of children and young people becoming ‘looked after’ and the cost of their care - £1.43m

• Increase the income from older people’s contributions to their care budgets - £500,000

• Re-tendering the housing support services for older people in extra care accommodation - £457,000

* Reduce services provided by the council for adults with learning disabilities, and potentially use independent sector provision instead - £500,000

• Reduce advice and support that is available to early years settings and schools to statutory minimum - £500,000

• Absorb staff pay increases and increases in pension payments (incurred as a result of national policy changes) within individual service budgets - £2.9m

• Reduce spend on agency social work staff - £502,000

• Reduce staffing in informatics, strategy development and project management support, practice development and innovation - £546,000

• Reductions in early help services for children and young people as previously agreed - £1.02m

• Remove funding for school crossing patrols to save £171,000 and offer schools and local communities the opportunity to take the function on.

• Generate income by charging utility companies for the time they spend on the network rather than fine them for staying longer than scheduled

• Reduce winter maintenance on the highways to save £650,000 - this will reduce the road network treated from 45 per cent to 30 per cent • Rising bollards in Cambridge to be replaced by CCTV to save £50,000

• Withdraw funding from some libraries and seek community assistance to run them this is in addition to reducing opening hours of retained libraries to save £375,000 over two years

• Removal of the mobile library service to save £160,000 over two years

• Introduce 24 hour bus lane enforcement

• Remove non-statutory concessionary fares to save £125,000

• Create a shared planning service with district councils

• Reduce funding for Fenland Learning Centres by £90,000

• Reduce support for bus services by £1.4m over two years to focus funds to support community led services not regular scheduled routes.

• Increase on street car parking fees in Cambridge by at least 20 per cent to raise over £300,000

• Sharing a chief executive with Peterborough – at least £100,000 in savings

• Increasing the cost of applying for a Blue Badge for three years from the current £9 to the national £10 rate and for replacing lost or stolen badges from £5 to £10. This is due to increased costs of dealing with Blue Badges. It currently costs the council £230,000 to deal with Blue Badges but it only receives £97,000 in income. Even with the extra £20,000 income from the proposed increased charges the full cost will not be covered and the council will have to find a further £112,000.

• Income of £35,000 from the council’s research team.

• £147,000 in savings from corporate services revenue by reorganisation of the transformation team which plays a vital role in driving efficiencies and reducing costs to the council as a whole.

• The £150k grant that is currently provided to Voluntary Sector Infrastructure organisations will be reduced by £30,000 following close work with the sector and the organisations affected

• Sharing a Director for Public Health with Peterborough City Council, this is already being piloted

• Stop smoking services – an under spend is predicted because of the fall in take up of smoking cessation services thought to be due to the reduced rates of smoking recorded in Cambridgeshire and to the use of e-cigarettes. Stop smoking services remain one of the best value interventions to improve people’s health – so services will continue to be proactive and accessible.

• Sexual Health Services – Savings are predicted on use of sexual health clinics outside the county by Cambridgeshire residents. Local residents now have access to community sexual health clinics run by Cambridgeshire Community Services (CCS) and located at venues around the county.