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Dudley Council faces massive cuts with double the pain to come
5:13pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in News
DUDLEY Council plans to slash £26m from its spending and councillors say there is double the pain to come.
The council's cabinet will debate spending for the next three years on October 30 which includes savings of £25.8m by 2016/17.
However councillors are blaming smaller-than-expected grants from central government for a whopping increase in what the authority expects to have to save.
Cllr David Sparks, leader of Dudley Council, said: "The work we have done means we have put forward proposals to save around £26million in addition to £42million of savings made over the previous three years. But due to the fact the situation has got even worse nationally we know there is now another £32million to find in Dudley.”
Grants from the government are the council's second biggest source of income and next year will reduce by £16.9m, just under two per cent of more than the authority was expecting.
Big spending departments look set to take the biggest hits, Adult, Community and Housing is earmarked for reductions of £3.3m next year and Children's Services has to save £3m.
Councillor Pete Lowe, deputy leader and cabinet member for finance, said: “We have worked extremely hard to successfully propose a budget which makes significant savings while looking to protect council services that people most value. We will again be going out to consult with the public to ensure we continue to set budgets in accordance with the views of the public.
“The reality is that we received a settlement from national government in the summer which was considerably worse than anyone could have planned for and it leaves us with more work to do. I can assure all borough residents and council staff that we will leave no stone unturned in trying to find inventive ways of making savings to ensure services can continue to be delivered.”
The £32m gap between what the council expects to spend and its income over the next three years could lead to the loss of up to 334 full-time jobs by 2016/17.
The losses will add to the 544 voluntary redundancies and 77 compulsory job losses at the council over the last three years.
Cllr Sparks said: “We will continue to explore ways of delivering services innovatively and continue our commitment to keep compulsory redundancies down to a minimum."
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