Tough times lie ahead at Town Hall, says Dillon

Scarborough Town Hall

Scarborough Town Hall

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‘Tough times lie ahead’ - that is the warning from Scarborough Council following news that Government cuts will continue until 2018.

The authority issued the statement after Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles spoke in the House of Commons about the provisional local government finance settlement for next two financial years.

His report confirmed that local government continues to bear the brunt of public spending cuts and it is likely the cuts will continue until 2018.

The overall funding package over the medium term is as envisaged and planned for by Scarborough Council, with the authority having to make a predicted £7.5 million of cuts over the next three years, £2.5 million of which will come in the next financial year.

Council chief executive, Jim Dillon, said tough decision are going to have to be made at the Town Hall in order to bridge the funding gap.

He said: “This is going to be a tough ask for the council to deliver and some very difficult decisions will have to be made. So far the council has aimed to reduce the financial burden through re-designing services and maximising efficiencies.

“With these further impending cuts it will be unlikely to meet the financial requirements without any impact on front line services that residents rely upon, but we will do all we can to lessen that impact and manage the cuts to services in a sensitive, careful and considered manner.”

The Government has changed the way in which councils are funded and from April local authorities can retain a proportion of business rate income, which provides more of an incentive to promote economic growth and regeneration.

The full implications of the financial settlement will be presented to Cabinet in January with the results of subsequent consultation and final budget proposals to be considered by Full Council in February.

The potential for a further council tax freeze will also be looked at over the same period.