UPDATED: Council warns of more cuts to services

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Vital services in Scarborough will be cut as the borough council looks to make £9 million in savings over the next four years.

The warning comes as the authority’s cabinet gets set to meet next week to discuss it interim budget for the year’s up to 2020.

In a report to go before councillors, the council’s director Nicholas Edwards says that service cuts are “inevitable”.

Mr Edwards says in his report: “Current financial 
projections show that the council will face a revenue budgetary shortfall of £2.794 million in 2016/17, £2.547 million in 2017/18, £1.977 million in 2018/19 and £1.96 million in 2019/20 (a total of £9.282 million.

“The budget shortfall will not be bridged through efficiencies alone and cuts in service are inevitable in the forthcoming years.

“The council’s capital reserves are overcommitted over the 10 year period and 
projections do not make provision for capital receipts, essential asset management or infrastructure works.”

Scarborough Council has already saved approximately £9 million in the last four years, but it now admits that there is little else it can save without cutting services.

Mr Edwards adds: “Achieving savings in excess of £9.2 
million over the next four years will be a huge challenge for the authority.

“Although this level of saving was delivered over the 
period from 2012 to 2014 it will clearly become more difficult to identify savings going forward as services reach optimal efficiency and budgets reduce.”

An update on the long-running Futurist saga is also due to be given at the same meeting.

The council is hoping to sell the land to Flamingo Land, which is planning to build a theme park on the coast.

However, the plan has been delayed while the 
council awaits a report into the 
structural integrity of the rock face that surrounds the former theatre.

Opponents to the 
demolition of the Futurist have also resubmitted an application to have the building listed, having previously been rejected by Historic England.

Editor’s Comment:

Who would become a councillor? Not many of us, so we should be grateful to those who do.

Some of them relish the role for the status and need for ego, some because they are thoroughly selfless and community-minded, others because they have spare time on their hands.

But apart from the range of motivation, there is also the issue about quantity ... we have a lot of councillors. Too many, as others have already pointed out. But what has been done about it? Nothing.

Councillors who enjoy their hats are hardly likely to want to vote out their seats in the Town Hall.

But there is a greater issue than their own sensitivities ... next week when there is a meeting to discuss yet more savings on the budget, there cannot be any cuts unless the number of councillors is on the agenda. Fifty is far too many, and every organisation, every agency, every company has had to trim its budget accordingly. So should the borough council, by at least a third. The savings on expenses, allowances, laptops, broadband, iPads etc won’t amount to £9million but there cannot be talk of cuts when the number of councillors is absurd.

Ed Asquith, Editor