James Evison 28 November 2016

Reading BC to sign off further £10.5m in cuts

Reading BC to sign off further £10.5m in cuts  image

Reading BC is set to sign off another £10.5m in efficiency savings as the local authority aims to fill a £42m funding gap.

The local authority’s policy committee will meet next Monday (5 December) to agree to the package of measures, which includes both cost savings and plans to grown potential revenue streams at the council.

Plans include opening up public buildings to weddings and civil ceremonies, opening up council-owned car parks for public use and also selling off assets, which are currently in storage.

Other policies include identifying savings in children’s services commissioning, sharing public health duties with neighbouring local authorities, further cuts to care packages and reductions in the council tax support scheme.

Leader of the council, Cllr Jo Lovelock, slammed the decision, stating that the funding decision was ‘not fair’ as neighbouring Wokingham only had to cut £66 per person compared to Reading’s £150 per citizen.

The council has already closed swimming pools, cut library hours, introduced charging for green waste bins and cut funding to the voluntary sector as part of its overall spend since 2011.

Lovelock said: 'The scale of government cuts this council faces is unprecedented.

'I would ask residents to think about the effect a 40% cut in wages would have on their household income.

'The average national wage is around the £27,500 mark. If you cut that figure by 40%, your monthly wage packet falls from £2,290 to just £1,458. Add to that the rising cost of living - including food and energy bills - and any family would struggle to make ends meet.

'That is the reality of the size of the challenge the council faces. The 40% figure does not even take into account the substantial additional costs of the rising demands on key council services.'

Lovelock concluded that ‘more difficult decisions’ will ‘follow in the months and years to come in the context of the extreme budget challenge we face.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Part Time Residential Worker - The Maples

Essex County Council
£20604 - £26801 per annum
Part Time Residential Worker - The MaplesPermanent, Part Time£20,604 to £26,801 per annum pro rataLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Senior Workforce Development Lead

Essex County Council
£30906 - £39168 per annum
Job Purpose Essex County Council (ECC) is achieving transformational change across Adult Social Care and Children and Families Services, underpinned b England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Environment

Doncaster Council
We are looking for a strategic and resilient leader to become our next Assistant Director of Environment here in Doncaster. Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Doncaster Council

Interim Finance Transformation Lead

Tile Hill
£700-800 per day outside IR35
Our local authority client in the midlands is looking for an interim with a finance background as part of an improvement journey to review and resh... West Midlands
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Assistant Director Children's Commissioning

Tile Hill
£800-900 per day inside IR35
An interim Assistant Director of Children's Commissioning is needed for one of our local authority clients.  West Midlands
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue