Cornwall 'could look very different' when cuts are over
Cornwall Council will lobby Government to put an end to "drastic cuts" which could see it having to make savings of £336 million over a decade.
It was announced yesterday that the council may slash £24 million from its next budget on top of £19 million already planned in medium term savings.
The huge cut is on top of the £170 million already saved over the last four years, with another £196 million expected by 2019, and despite an increase of 1.97% in council tax.
Council leader John Pollard admitted at the first draft proposal of the budget yesterday that the council and Cornwall could look very different by the time the cuts had been implemented. The unitary authority's last budget drew headlines for cuts to front line service provision and it is anticipated that more could be made following the outcome of the next budget.
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Mr Pollard said cuts in Government funding had contributed to the situation.
He said: "Local Government is reaching a point where it can no longer cope with very drastic cuts to its services and that's true up-and-down the country.
"In Cornwall we believe there is a particular situation where we are getting less funding than some urban area and we need to lobby and argue with the Government about how best we can change that situation and we are working with the MPs to do that.
"It's not about cuts, it's about fairness and it's about the fact that in a rural county with a unitary authority covering a huge area we need to make sure we are getting our fair share of the resources."
Government funding for councils is expected to be £89 million less per year by 2018/19 equivalent to the council's combined spend on a huge range of frontline services, such as fire and community safety, environment, leisure and face-to-face services.
Plymouth Council leader Tudor Evans said earlier this week that the scale of Government cuts could have a "devastating impact" on services in the city, making it "impossible" to avoid cuts to frontline services in a battle to plug a £65 million budget black hole.
Mr Evans said that the scale of cuts was unprecedented since the Second World War.
Cornwall Council is yet to determine how the £24 million reduction in service delivery will be implemented.
The draft proposals will be run by a series of portfolio advisory committee (PAC) meetings before being fed back to the Finance and Resources PAC on October 9.
The outcome will then head to a special cabinet meeting in November, which will then make a recommendation for full council to consider on November 26.
The council is holding a series of public consultations on the budget across September and early October.
For more information visit wwwcornwall.gov.uk