Nottingham City Council are on the verge of losing vital services that will cause ‘significant suffering’ to residents, warns the authority’s deputy leader.
According to the latest figures, the council’s annual central Government grant looks set to drop from £103m now to £13m by 2020.
The authority says that this would lead to a fundamental change in what it could provide, with services such as home care for the disabled facing an ‘uncertain future’.
Leisure centres, libraries, youth services, children’s centres, road repairs and early intervention services are also council provisions that could face the axe.
According to the authority’s deputy leader, Councillor Graham Chapman, the council is having to squeeze the last drops of efficiencies from services.
“Councils have already borne the brunt of the Government’s austerity measures and after implementing four painful years of savings, we’re now squeezing the last drops of efficiencies from services” He said.
“This is the hardest budget yet and so we are taking the time we need to make the right decisions and trying to protect as much as possible those services that provide a safety net for vulnerable people.
“We face a triple whammy of £60m more cuts in Government grant to come over the next three years, this means we’re on the brink of fundamentally undermining or losing vital services which will cause significant suffering to the many people who rely on them.”
Amid the announcement of the latest round of cuts, council chiefs are now looking at a variety of ways to make the savings.
…we’re on the brink of fundamentally undermining or losing vital services…”
A variety of services look to be hit by the cuts and the Council has identified a number of different ways of saving.
These methods include reviewing charges for adult social care by introducing an average contribution of £20 a week for around 250 citizens, changing day centre and residential care provision and increasing the cost of school meals from £1.75 to £1.80 per meal.
There will also be a potential reduction in workforce numbers and a 1.95 per cent increase in Council Tax.
The final budget will be approved by the full Council at a meeting in March and residents are being asked to take part in a consultation in the meantime and have their say on how they think the council should make the savings.
Despite criticisms from the council, Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the Taxpayer’s Alliance, said that savings have to be made to bring the country’s debt down.
He added: “Britain is £1.4 trillion in debt, and that means we need to find savings right across the whole of Government.
“Britain must live within it’s means once again.”