Service cuts ‘have to be made’

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Cuts to services are “inevitable” as Lancaster City Council looks to find £3.5m in savings over the next two years to balance its books.

Following the government’s announcement that funding for local government will fall by a further 10 per cent, which translates into a further 15.3 per cent reduction for Lancaster district, savings targets have been revised and will be reported to the city council’s cabinet on October 8.

For 2014/15 the council will have to find recurring savings of £1.2m, with a further £2.3m having to be found for 2015/16.

This is in addition to the savings the council has had to find over the last three years, which has already seen the government cut 27 per cent of its funding.

It is likely that £1m in savings will be made by restructuring, streamlining and ‘cutting corners’.

The remaining £2.5 m can only be made through withdrawing or significantly reducing services.

Coun Eileen Blamire, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “As these new figures show the council is closer to the cliff edge than ever before in terms of its budget.

“Although the economy is starting to pick up, the government seems determined to reduce our funding even further and that can only translate into real cuts to our services.

“Although every effort will be made to deliver savings whilst protecting the frontline, it is inevitable that we will have to make service cuts to balance our books.

“Savings of the size we now face simply cannot be made through efficiencies.

“Many of the decisions will be tough and unpalatable to many but they will have to be made.”