Council faces making £393,000 savings in 2013

Council Leader Gary Porter.
Council Leader Gary Porter.
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Job losses cannot be ruled out as South Holland District Council faces further squeezes on spending in the next financial year.

The council is currently looking at making efficiencies of £393,000 in 2013/14 – but the full extent of the savings it will need to make will not be known until the Government announces next month how much cash it is allocating to local authorities.

The shortfall was highlighted at a recent district council cabinet meeting when members were presented with a draft general fund budget.

Although £393,000 sounds like a large sum of money, council leader Gary Porter said it signalled a far better position for the council than this time last year, when it faced making even bigger cutbacks.

And chief executive Terry Huggins praised the work of two of his senior managers who had “taken a red pen” to spending to cut the deficit by almost two thirds, from almost a million pounds.

But Coun Porter warned that tough decisions could be necessary as local authorities continue to be squeezed by further Government spending cuts.

He said: “This £393,000 is better than where we normally are at this time of year but we are still waiting to find out what slice of the cake we will get from the Government and that is unlikely to happen before December 19.

“At this stage there is no suggestion it will mean job losses but any local authority that rules it out completely in this world of no money may live to regret it.”

But, despite the shortfall, the council is currently still looking at making a 0.25 per cent reduction in Council Tax for residents.

The draft will now go before the joint performance monitoring panel and policy development panel for consideration next Tuesday.