Council leader looks ahead to challenging new year

PUBLISHED: 13:08 30 December 2010 | UPDATED: 10:27 31 December 2010

The council will have to make £20million in cuts in the next financial year alone

The council will have to make £20million in cuts in the next financial year alone

Copyright Archant Ltd

AFTER enduring a difficult end to 2010, Somerset County Council’s leader is now looking ahead to a 2011 that will see dramatic cuts across services in the county.

But Councillor Ken Maddock is optimistic that the council is well-placed to deal with the austere times ahead, and is ambitious and driven enough to provide the best services it can.

He said: “For me as leader of Somerset County Council, 2010 has definitely been one of the most difficult and challenging years of my political career.

“Difficult, because after already agreeing £43million of savings in November, Somerset County Council still face further severe cuts in 2011, and challenging, because of this, we are forced to take even more tough decisions.”

He added that the settlement grant received from the Government has made the council’s financial situation even worse, and they need to make a further £20million in savings in the next financial year.

But Cllr Maddock is confident that the council’s preventative measures allowed them to prevent even bigger cuts, and that they are well-placed to deal with the huge cuts to come.

He added: “So, what can the people of Somerset expect next year? We are relentlessly driving to bring down Somerset’s debt and we have frozen council tax for yet another year.

“Admittedly, some services people have come to expect from us we can no longer afford to do but Somerset will still continue to be a wonderful place to work, live and visit.”

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