Scarborough Council: 'services will have to be prioritised and difficult decisions made on cutbacks'

The Manor Road Nursery operation is to be relocated to the Dean Road Depot
The Manor Road Nursery operation is to be relocated to the Dean Road Depot

Tough decisions on cuts to services lie in Scarborough Council’s future, councillors have been warned as they get ready to approve the authority’s budget for the coming year.

On Friday the borough council will set its budget for 2019/20, which includes a planned rise in council tax of 2.99%, the equivalent of an extra £6.82 a year for a Band D property.

Ahead of the meeting, the council’s finance director has spelt out in his budget report that hard decisions remain.

See HERE for what the average council tax bill is likely to be

Nick Edwards wrote: “Significant efficiencies have been delivered in recent years and it is recognised that efficiencies alone may not be sufficient to bridge the funding gap in future years’ budgets.

“It is highly likely that members will be required to prioritise services and make difficult decisions in regards to service cuts in forthcoming years.”

The budget lays out that the council will make efficiencies and savings totalling £1.544million over the year 2019/20.

The budget report adds that the authority will likely need to make close to £5million in savings by 2022.

The borough council has made £18million in savings from its revenue budget since 2010.

Mr Edwards also warned that staff redundancies are inevitable.

He added: “The council has recognised that to achieve efficiency savings that minimise the impact on the delivery of front line services there will be a need to reduce staffing numbers, which will inevitably result in redundancies.”

Other savings will come from making more of the borough toilets pay-on-entry, getting them sponsored by businesses or taken over by town councils, or through closures.

The council is also looking to save money on its contract with its leisure services provider and through the grants it gives to organisations, including the Scarborough Museums Trust.

A further £70,000 will be saved from the grass cutting budget as part of a “modernisation” of the parks department and £80,000 from the relocation of the Manor Road Nursery operation to the Dean Road Depot.