Council cuts ‘will hit most vulnerable’

First published in News York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

SERVICE cuts are looming for vulnerable residents following a £4 million reduction in Government grant to City of York Council.

That was the stark warning from council leader James Alexander yesterday after officials confirmed the 10.3 per cent funding cut for 2013/14, following Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles’ Local Government Finance Settlement.

Coun Alexander said a further 14.3 per cent cut was expected in 2014/15 for an authority which had already seen a 31 per cent cut in funding since the general election.

“These cuts go way beyond making efficiencies, into service cuts that will unavoidably have a huge impact on the most vulnerable people in our society,” he said.

“In light of these ongoing Government funding reductions, all of our services are now under consideration.”

Chief executive Kersten England said: “The impact of these cuts cannot be underestimated.

“Since the general election we have already cut 40 per cent of our senior management costs and 33 per cent of our administration costs. We have made all of our services more cost-efficient, saving £42 million over the last three years.”

Meanwhile, the Rural Services Network – a group of more than 200 organisations working together to improve the delivery of rural services across England – has warned that rural communities will bear the brunt of Government cuts, forcing local councils to slash their services.

North Yorkshire County Council says the cut in its Government funding is even worse than anticipated, working out at £10.1million, or 5.9 per cent, in 2013/14.

It said it was facing a further £12.1 million cut, or 7.6 per cent, in 2014/15.

“Our original task of finding £69 million in savings posed very considerable challenges,” said council leader John Weighell.

“Now we are having to make far greater savings and to a very short deadline. We know the extent of the savings we have to make is even greater than we had feared.

“We have now reached the stage where we will have to look at every service the council provides.”

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