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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

County agrees £5.4 million cuts

Councillors in Denbighshire have approved the latest package of cuts totalling £5.4 million, as part of its overall plans to save £17 million over two years.

At a meeting in County Hall, Ruthin today (Tuesday, December 9) the council agreed the Phase 2 cuts, bringing the total amount of savings made to date to £10 million - this leaves a further £7 million to find over the next two financial years.

As part of the budget process, the council invited residents to get involved in a debate called Cutting our Cloth, to look at how the Council could lessen the impact of cuts on local communities.

Over 822 survey responses were received on a wide range of proposals, as well as petitions received as part of organised campaigns. A summary of the feedback received was discussed by the Council as part of the decision making process.

Leader of Denbighshire, Councillor Hugh Evans OBE, said: "We are grateful to Denbighshire residents for getting involved in the debate and for sharing their thoughts and ideas on how we can lessen the impact of cuts. The feedback has been reported to the various services for consideration and was also considered today as part of the budget debate.

"This level of cuts is unprecedented in Denbighshire and we are having to make difficult decisions on proposals which have generated some significant debate in our communities.

"I can reassure residents that the budget setting  has been one of the most detailed and most intense processes ever undertaken in Denbighshire. Councillors have received presentations in numerous workshops over a number of months and these have given us the opportunity to scrutinise every proposal in detail before they came to Full Council for a final decision."

Councillor Julian Thompson-Hill, Lead Member for Finance and Assets, said: "We have done as much as we can through careful financial planning, through trimming services and protecting vital services to the public.

"The time has now come for us to start implementing some of the most difficult decisions we have ever needed to make as a council.

"Unfortunately we need to find a further £7 million and we are currently looking at what options are available to us to meet this difficult challenge."

Commenting, Llangollen county councillor Stuart Davies said: "I am disappointed to see the Labour Group in DCC failing to support any of the proposed cuts that we were being forced to implement by the Welsh Government in our Budget meeting today

"I am as a member of a responsible authority prepared to be pragmatic. We have to make a balanced budget, it is the law, members refusing to engage is a cop out. Just saying no doesn't hack it. It leaves the responsible members to make the horrible decisions."

He added: "They are following the lead of Chris Ruane MP and Ann Jones AM. They don't want to implement the Welsh Government cuts but can't come up with solutions on how to deal with them.

"I have heard Labour Party members discussing selling council farms to fund the Welfare Benefits Unit, not understanding that that is a capital receipt, a one-off and anyway can't be used to fund on-going revenue costs!

"They put forward a motion today that we should continue to fund the Welfare Benefits unit without coming up with a viable way to fund this non-statutory cost. They completely failed to understand that we have been through a long and arduous process in which they have attended meetings and yet sit on their hands when it comes to the crunch."

1 comment:

  1. Lies, damned lies & statistics?? The cuts aren't imposed by the Welsh Government but by the Tory-led coalition. They are making the public sector pay for the ruination of our economy by their friends the bankers for purely political dogma. They hate the public sector and are bankrolled by the very people / firms that are taking over the privatised public services. The so-called 'independents' on the council are just falling into this mythical 'reality' that the Tories keep expounding; it's all Labour's fault. Wake up. It wasn't Labour's fault & we wouldn't be in this awful mess if Labour had won the last election. They had fairer ways of bailing out the country. The biggest mistake Labour made in government was not regulating the banking system after Thatcher deregulated it in the 1980s, thus laying the foundations for the banking collapse in 2008.