Services could ‘buckle under the strain’, warns councils body
Councils across Kent have been told how much government money they will get next year for key services after bracing themselves for yet another bruising round of cuts. The government has announced that councils will have to take a 1.8% reduction hi grants and any council tax increases will have to be capped at less than 2%. Kent County Council had already warned it expected to have to find savings of £93m next year in the ce of growing demands for certain services such as adult social care.
It recently completed a public consultation on its spending plans for 2015, which included anincreasein council tax billsof 1.99%, thereby avoiding the need to have a public referendum. That would see average bills rise by about £20 for KCC’s share of the tax. The authority is embarking on a wide-ranging outsourcing programme to help it balance the books. However, the LGA, the body representing councils, warned services would “buckle under the strain” of more cuts.
KOC council leader Cllr Paul Carter said in October the authority’s draft budget would focus on preventative measures in social care that would be less costly without damaging the quality of services. A further round of job cuts at County Hall is also expected, with between 2iO to 400 posts expected to be lost over the next three years, on top of hundreds that have already gone. Cllr Carter said:
“We are stepping up the pace and scale of health and social-care integration and investing in preventive services that will transform the way health care is delivered.”
Herne Bay Gazette, December 25th 2014