March 8 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Officials at councils across the region were today going through the small print after receiving details of the grants they are to get from central government – but there are expected to be few major shocks.
The government is cutting the amount it gives to councils by 2.9% in 2014/15 – a year ago local government secretary Eric Pickles told councils they could expect a cut of about 3% at this time.
The Conservative group which retained control at Suffolk County Council in May campaigned on a pledge to freeze council tax rates for the next four years.
The county has already started the process of cutting its spending – it is looking at trimming its spending by £39 million next year and a further £120 million by May 2018.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles said: “Every bit of the public sector needs to do their bit to pay off the budget deficit, including local government which accounts for a quarter of all public spending.
“This year, councils should continue to focus on cutting waste and making sensible savings to protect frontline services and keep council tax down.
“Extra funding is on offer to councils to freeze council tax for a fourth year in a row.”
In the 2015/16 financial year, local councils are likely to see their central government grants cut by an average of 1.8%.
Suffolk county councillor with responsibility for finance Colin Noble said: “This is broadly in line with the government funding we were expecting and therefore means that we can continue with our saving plans for next year.
“At this point and for the next three to four years at least, local government finances are such that we must do everything we can to save money and make the most efficient use of the resources we have available to us.
“That includes finding new ways of working, sharing resources with other public bodies and ruthlessly cutting out waste.
“We have already shared our savings proposals and are currently consulting the public and our stakeholders. This process will continue until we agree our budget in February next year.”