September 30th, 2016

Threat to services as council seeks huge savings

Threat to services as council seeks huge savings Threat to services as council seeks huge savings
Updated: 4:36 pm, May 07, 2015

FRONT-LINE services in the city will be axed as the council looks to slash millions from its budget.

That is according to the man in charge of the city’s finances, Labour councillor Damian Gannon, who is facing what he describes as “savage” government funding cuts to the tune of £65million over the next three years.

Officers are currently looking at where savings can be made. A voluntary redundancy and early retirement programme has already been launched in a bid to reduce the workforce by at least 1,000.

Coun Gannon, Cabinet Member for Strategic Finance and Resources, said: “Services like libraries, community and children’s centres and other services across the city will be affected, and some may need to close.

“These are front-line services that people take for granted at the moment – everyone in Coventry will be affected by the decisions the government is forcing us to take.”

Despite needing to cut £12million in the next year alone, coun Gannon insists the council is determined to support vulnerable residents while boosting the city’s economy.

He added: “It’s been an absolute priority for us to inject funding into children’s social care, but this is adding more than £10million a year to our budget and more may be needed.”

The Deputy Leader of the Conservative group, coun Allan Andrews, said he appreciated the council faced difficult decisions in light of reduced budgets, but hit back at the attacks on Government.

He said: “Labour in Coventry like to place the blame on central government – it is the convenient thing to do, but their colleagues at a national level have not pledged to reverse the budget reductions for local government so this problem is not going away.

“Labour’s spending plans at the general election in 2010 included significant cuts to local government funding, so these challenges would have existed whichever party formed the Government.”

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