'Get used to lower level of services'

PUBLISHED: 10:00 14 October 2010


BOSSES at North Somerset Council say it is still too early to speculate what impact anticipated Government funding cuts will have.

After the Government’s comprehensive spending review on October 20 the unitary authority will be forced to make cuts of between 25-40 per cent.

Despite not knowing which amenities will be hit, council leader Nigel Ashton admitted people would have to get used to a ‘lower level of services’.

In the council’s latest edition of council publication North Somerset Life, Cllr Ashton said: “We have all thought it unfair that we are facing job losses, service cuts, reduction in savings and higher taxes, when it was all someone else’s fault. Unfair – yes. Difficult – yes.

“However, it seems to me to be pointless arguing whose fault it is when very shortly the Government will announce details of the cuts required and we are all going to have to get used to a lower level of services.”

The council has said it does not want to speculate on job losses as it was deemed to be unfair on staff, but chiefs are ‘working hard’ on a strategy to meet the funding gap.

The unitary authority is looking at ways it can save up to an extra £30million over the next four years.

As well as significant reductions in expenditure it is looking at different ways of delivering services.

A council spokesman added: “Because we have known for some time that a reduction in public spending was on the horizon, we have been working hard to prepare for reduced budgets.

“There is still much more work to do, but we are in a stronger position than many other councils, as we took the decision to act early rather than wait until the exact scale of the budget reductions is known.”

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