Norwich City council unveils �7.5m of cuts
Shaun LowthorpeHouseholders in Norwich were warned of difficult times ahead yesterday as city council leaders said that cuts of �7.5m were needed in the next two years to balance the books in the wake of the recession and cuts in public spending.Shaun Lowthorpe
Householders in Norwich were warned of difficult times ahead yesterday as city council leaders said that cuts of �7.5m were needed in the next two years to balance the books in the wake of the recession and cuts in public spending.
In a report to go before a special budget executive next Wednesday the authority will outline the projected efficiency savings the council needs to make to balance its finances for 2011-13 as part of a consultation process with staff, trade unions and councillors.
The authority which has already cut spending by more than �10m in the last two years said the changes were needed in the wake of government plans to cut public spending by 25pc in the next four years.
Job losses were minimised in the previous cuts round, but the planned government cuts and moves to scrap the creation of a new unitary city council, which the authority believed would save �20m in the next decade, could force the council to look again at staffing levels.
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Alan Waters, executive member for corporate resources and governance, admitted that the authority faced some tough choices.
'Having already reduced our spending by �10m over the last two years, we will not be able to find this money by trimming round the edges, making efficiency savings alone or dipping into reserves,' Mr Waters said. 'So there will be difficult times ahead.
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'We estimate that due to the significant reduction in public sector funding, we may have a gap of �7.5 million to bridge over the next two years which will be a difficult task.
'In the coming months it will be important to work with local people, staff and trade unions to shape the future of Norwich City Council.'
The report going to executive also details the development of a Targeting Operating Model (TOM) which is a blueprint for a leaner city council and which sets out principles for redesigning and reducing costs.