An eight week consultation gets underway today for the Mayor’s draft savings proposals.

Along with other local authorities, the council is in the process of identifying savings for 2015/16 to meet the challenges posed by significant grant reductions.

The council has already made savings of over £30 million in the last three financial years and needs to make further reductions estimated at more than £14 million in 2015/16. The majority of this has already been identified and now the remaining saving of £3.8 million is being proposed. Notwithstanding the changes, Torbay Council anticipates spending approximately 3.2 million pound per week on services for people in Torbay during 2015/16. This figure excludes funding for schools and housing benefit payments.

Views gathered through the consultation will help to form the final proposals for these service changes. The Overview and Scrutiny Board will also be carrying out its review of priorities and resources in the coming weeks. The decision on whether to accept the draft proposals, taking account of the results of the consultation and the views of the Overview and Scrutiny Board, will be made by the Council at a meeting to be held later this year. The cost savings realised from these service changes will be used to develop the 2015/16 budget, which will be set in February 2015.

Additional discussions will be held with partner organisations directly affected by specific service change proposals.

Torbay Mayor, Gordon Oliver said: "These proposed savings are as a result of the Coalition's unexpected announcement last year of further reductions in local government finance support. If I had a choice we wouldn't be making these reductions at all.

"Difficult choices have to be made and I would like to stress that these are draft proposals; no final decisions have been taken. That is why it is so important to engage with as many residents and local organisations as possible and to hear their views.

"We are not underestimating the challenge we face. Our priority is to protect funding to frontline services as much as possible, but with ever decreasing levels of funding even tougher choices need to be made about what we should invest in. We need to achieve a balance between the statutory services that we are required to provide by law and those that residents value the most.

"The majority of next year's savings have already been identified, but that does not make it any easier to find the remaining reductions. There are no easy answers in this budget and it will continue to be a challenging and painful process."

A full list of all the service change proposals can be seen at www.torbay.gov.uk/budget.

Everyone is welcome to give their feedback through the online consultation at www.torbay.gov.uk/consultation. Paper copies will be available at all Torbay Libraries and in Connections offices. The deadline for completed questionnaires is Friday 29 August 2014.

 

 

 

 

 


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