Thursday, 20 January 2011

Budget Challenge

So the budget proposals have now been published. It has been the hardest challenge that I have faced since becoming council leader. £15.5M savings needed out of revenue to achieve a balanced budget of £135M. The difficult decision to reduce the council's workforce by 178(FTE) posts of which the only saving grace is that 70 are currently vacant. I remain hopeful that with natural wastage, voluntary redundancy and early retirement we can keep compulsory redundancies to a minimum.Bearing in mind the extent of the challenge it is remarkable that we have avoided scrapping any front line service although some will need to be centred on those in most need. Let's see what response we now get from the opposition parties but it is no good anybody highlighting and criticising any particular saving without suggesting an alternative. PS As I have mentioned previously no library closures (and in particular Westcliff Library remains open) - let's wait for the apology from Cllr Terry for scaremongering!

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