Quarter of Council services hit by cuts

Published September 19, 2014 at 8:54

Latest estimates show that at least a quarter of Blackburn with Darwen Council services are being hit by the latest funding cuts coming in three years.

An early savings package, totalling over £16 million, is in place to help make sure the Council is in the best position possible to cope with further budget reductions of £19 million in the next financial year, 2015/16.

The Council has saved £70m since 2010. Financial forecasting for the next three years shows the need to cut around a further £31million.

Councillor leader Kate Hollern said: “It’s impossible to fully protect even the services we know are so needed.

“We are doing everything we can to minimise the damage by planning ahead and looking at every penny spent in every part of the Council to decide if it’s what citizens want and expect from us.”

Many of the latest reductions are taking the form of service reviews with a focus on finding new ways of delivering services that keep cost down but quality as high as possible. They cover all parts of the Council though the cuts will be deeper in some areas to ensure the main functions are protected.

A fuller three year plan will follow when the budget is set in March. The number of job roles at the Council has reduced by 1,100 since 2010. The top level of management has reduced by half over this period from 24 to 12. The existing 2,700 strong workforce is being told that it is impossible to avoid further job losses – with 300 roles potentially being lost between now and 2018..

Kate added: “We will not be giving up in our fight to lobby for the resources the area deserves. The investment projects which will help ensure the much needed future prosperity have to continue.

“Special attention is being given to the service areas which we know people value and need such as looking after vulnerable children and adults, clean streets and road repairs.”

Many of the reviews will involve communities being consulted before any changes are made.

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