Council must save £80m in four years

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KIRKLEES Council has revealed where the axe may fall as it tries to save over £80m by 2014.

Funding for adult social care, the arts, libraries, gritting and streets and public spaces are set to be slashed in this year’s budget.

As well as the ongoing £30m efficency savings, a further £70m could be taken from the four directorates that make up the council.

Under the plans, the Well Being and Communities budget could lose £20m and Children and Young People faces £8m in savings. PLACE - tasked with business and recession-fighting programmes - could miss out on £16m and the Resources department would be slashed by £13m.

At least £10m could be saved in the fourth year and if all the proposals are agreed by councillors this month, the total savings could be £100m.

The options will be discussed by council chiefs on February 8, before the budget meeting on February 23.

The public is being asked to share its views on where the cutbacks should be made via the council’s Your Voice website.

The council has also set out a number of ways it can run more efficiently, including redundancies and a restructuring of senior management.

Council chief executive Adrian Lythgo said there was ‘no escaping’ the financial constraints imposed on the authority as a result of funding cuts from Westminster, and the proposals were ‘not firm plans’ but suggestions.

“But cutbacks are unavoidable, so councillors will face some tough choices over the next few weeks,” he said.

“In essence, we are seeking the most effective way to deliver good quality services with less money.”

l Have your say and contact ben.morgan@ywng.co.uk