Authority must save �3m in three years

COMMUNITY leaders are faced with trimming services even further in a bid to save �3 million in three years.Like all councils, Suffolk Coastal's finances have been hit by the recession - with less income from interest on savings, fees, planning applications and land searches, but with costs still going up.

COMMUNITY leaders are faced with trimming services even further in a bid to save �3 million in three years.

Like all councils, Suffolk Coastal's finances have been hit by the recession - with less income from interest on savings, fees, planning applications and land searches, but with costs still going up.

It has now set itself a target of a further 20 per cent reduction in its costs over the next three years - �1m a year - to avoid putting up council tax by huge amounts.

Council leader Ray Herring said the authority, which has saved �8m since 2001 and kept its tax increases to below five pc, would be carrying out a top to bottom review of all its services and their costs, and was determined to continue to provide all its important services and keep the council tax low.


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Mr Herring said: “It will be a tough challenge as we have consistently been among the councils achieving the biggest efficiencies in the last few years but we must be ready to make some difficult decisions.

“We are now urgently looking again at whether all of our services need to be carried out in the same way or whether some are less important than the others, or indeed if some need even more support to help our residents get through these tough times.

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“After virtually eight years of constantly trimming costs, there is very little slack left in our services but I am confident we can become even more efficient by changing the ways some things are done, or indeed deciding they need to be done less often.

“Over the next few months we will shine the spotlight on every aspect of the services we provide and their costs, and begin the process of wringing out every last possible saving from them.”

One option is closer working with Waveney - the councils share a chief executive and head of planning - to see if further joint working can help.

What should Suffolk Coastal axe? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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