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Councils prepare for funding cuts in 2015

Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Babergh District Council will be hit with a 2.5 per cent funding cut next year, according to figures released by the Government.

The provisional local government finance settlement reveals that Babergh will lose 255,000, which equates to £6.44 per household, from its revenue spending grant in 2015.

Mid Suffolk District Council, which shares its workforce with Babergh, is facing a cut of one per cent, or £2.69 per household.

Jack Owen, a district councillor for Sudbury east and the current deputy mayor of Sudbury Town Council, said it was a continual battle to ensure local services were protected.

“The Government is certainly making some severe cuts to both district and county councils next year,” he said.

“The severity of the cuts is going to have a considerable impact and we are going to be looking to minimise the effect it is going to have.”

Last month, Sudbury’s award-winning Belle Vue Park lost its £3,000 funding for summer flower beds in a bid to save money.

Mr Owen said he still found the decision by the district council “intolerable” but admitted things like flower budgets were an easier place to find savings amidst the possibility of cutting vital services.

Council leaders Derrick Haley (Mid Suffolk) and Jennie Jenkins (Babergh) said there would not be any significant reduction in services next year.

A spokeswoman for the two district authorities said: “The figures that we received are broadly in line with what we have been basing our plans on for next year.

“We are seeing another significant reduction in our grant, but we have been planning for this and we are looking at other ways in which we can raise income to replace the loss of this grant.”

The provisional grants come as part of the coalition Government’s initiative to give local authorities more control over how they spend public money.