Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

End of austerity? Not for Suffolk County Council warns finance chief

PUBLISHED: 19:00 08 October 2018

Richard Smith doesn't expect a government windfall for Suffolk County Council. Picture: Nick Ward

Richard Smith doesn't expect a government windfall for Suffolk County Council. Picture: Nick Ward

Archant

Despite the Prime Minister telling this year’s Conservative Party Conference that the age of austerity was coming to an end, bosses at Suffolk County Council aren’t expecting a loosening of the purse strings anytime soon.

Theresa May told the party conference that she was calling an end to the age of austerity – and that people should soon expect to see their living standards improve.

However while her speech went down well with many at Conservative-controlled Suffolk County Council, cabinet member for finance Richard Smith isn’t dancing for joy just yet.

He is still looking for £25m in cost savings in next year’s county budget – and is trying to avoid dipping too far into the county’s reserves.

He said: “I heard the speech and I was interested in what Mrs May said about austerity. Of course it is possible that the Chancellor will have a lovely surprise for us in this month’s budget – but I wouldn’t count on that!

“We should be getting a share of the extra money being put into social care, about £3m in Suffolk, but when you look at all the figures involved you can see that won’t be the answer to all our prayers!”

Mr Smith was encouraged that council leader Matthew Hicks had been able to have a meeting with Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond to make the case for more money to be given to councils.

Mr Smith said: “We’ll have to see what happens. I think some areas, like the NHS, education, and defence will see more money from the government – but I’m not sure that councils will see a big boost.”

This year’s budget statement from Mr Hammond on October 29 will be the first indication of what councils can expect from the government – but the final figure for individual councils is expected to revealed shortly before Christmas.

The county council’s budget for the financial year 2019/20 will be discussed by the authority’s cabinet in January and then finally approved by the full council in February before bills go out in April.

Councils across the country are under pressure after eight years of austerity – Northamptonshire has effectively gone bankrupt forcing a restructuring of local government in that county while other authorities are struggling with serious budget problems.

Worried neighbours in an Ipswich street claim brazen drug dealing is taking place in front of children returning home from school.

A 17-year-old youth accused of being involved in a fight in the car park of an Ipswich McDonald’s restaurant during which a 16-year-old boy was stabbed has admitted an offence of violent disorder.

Police are looking to speak to a man in connection with incidents of stalking in the Norwich Road area of Ipswich.

Families on the Ravenswood estate have spoken of their disappointment after it was announced Rudolph and Santa won’t be passing through their streets this year.

Ipswich singer/songwriter Richard Osborne - who records under his surname - Osborne, has a worldwide hit on his hands with his debut dance single.

MP Dr Dan Poulter has demanded that Mid Suffolk Council takes action to ensure there is no development on land at Brockford in his constituency without planning permission.

Strictly Come Dancing attracts millions of viewers every Saturday evening to the BBC and the show has breathed new life into what has been a popular pastime in Ipswich for decades.

A three vehicle crash on the A12 at Saxmundham caused traffic hold ups at lunchtime today.

Ed Sheeran is known for his romantic music - and now the star has stopped a show to allow a fan to propose to his girlfriend.

A BMW X5 has been broken into with the centre dashboard, including sat-nav device and steering wheel stolen.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Ipswich Star daily newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24