Council warns of even deeper cuts this year
CORNWALL Council has revealed plans to cut services and raise charges as it faces having to make extra savings of £24 million next year.
The council had already planned savings of £19 million for the year, but announced last month that it would have to cut even deeper after the Government slashed its budget again.
The council has trimmed £170 million from its expenditure since 2010 and now says it expects to see government support cut by £196 million by 2019.
The authority unveiled its draft budget last week, which showed its adult care, health and wellbeing budget could be cut by £11.7 million in 2014-15 – which includes a £500,000 reduction in staff costs and £2.3 million from its charging review, on which consultation is taking place at the moment.
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Proposals also include doubling the Newquay Cornwall Airport development fee, paid by passengers, from £5 to £10.
The department for children, schools and families has been earmarked for cuts of £2.3 million next year and £5.6 million the year after. It is proposing to slash its youth service budget by £200,000 in the next financial year, and by £1.97 million in 2015-16.
So-called "reconfiguration" of children's centres would save almost £500,000 next year and a further £3.4 million the year after.
The family intervention project, working with some of Cornwall's most troublesome households, would also be axed, saving some £600,000, and opening hours could also be cut at the county's One Stop Shops and libraries to save £400,000.
The council has come under fire for planning to slice £1 million off its support for bus services. The same sum could be cut from highway maintenance, while reducing grass-cutting by 20 per cent would save £300,000.
Fees for garden waste collection, some park-and-ride schemes and some planning services could also be hiked.
Councillor Alex Folkes, Cabinet member for finance and resources, said: "Our aim has been to produce a budget which balances the need to provide services for vulnerable people and others who need them with our desire to keep council tax as low as possible.
"We have again sought to ensure that we're cutting bureaucracy and back-office functions wherever possible. These are still draft proposals. We are evaluating the many hundreds of ideas and suggestions from the public and our staff and we are happy to take on board good ideas either for the coming year or as we seek to make savings of up to £196 million per year by the end of 2018-19."