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In February 2010, we agreed savings of £8million from that year’s budget and a further £8million from 2011/12. On top of this, we have also had to deal with around £2.5million of cuts, announced in the summer of 2010, from our grants to specific services during 2010/11. Despite being in a strong position already, it is vital that we prepare ourselves for the possibility of even greater government cuts that may come our way in the coming years. With this in mind, we invited you to give us your views on our services and any suggestions you had to make savings.
Read the report of findings| from the most recent budget consultation.
Results of this, past budget consultations and other consultations are available on the Consultation Tracker|.
“We are extremely disappointed with the final grant settlement announced yesterday. In 2010/11, the Council received total grants from the Government of around £70million. The equivalent figure for 2011/12 appears to be just £60million. Although we will need some time to properly assess the likely impact, on first analysis it appears that Bournemouth is receiving a whopping £10million less, or 12.5% comparable grant reduction, in 2011/12. This is much worse than any of us anticipated and than the Government led us to believe, and even more worrying, does not take into account detailed analysis of the specific grants that we will need to assess over the coming days.
“Bournemouth residents rightly expect strong financial management and that is what we have been delivering over the past three years. Remember, we have already saved £11.2m during this time and a further £7.7 million this year with £7.3 million proposed for 2011/12. Next year, Bournemouth will receive around £10million a year less from the Government in grant income than we are now. Consequently, we know we will need to make further savings, and officers are assessing the impact of the announcement on our Medium Term Financial Plan. The results of our recent public consultation will play a key role in taking that work forward.
“At the same time, we need to continue to provide good quality frontline services and that is exactly what we will do. Against an unprecedented reduction in government funding, residents want to be as sure as they can be that services will continue, without large increases in Council Tax. Indeed we have been working flat out to keep increases in Council Tax as low as possible over the past three years with the aim of meeting the Government’s current target, which would mean no increase at all next year.”
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