Harlow’s vulnerable and motorists to benefit from council savings

News / Wed 25th Jun 2014 am30 10:53am

MOTORISTS and the county’s most vulnerable people will benefit from a package of measures agreed today (Tuesday) funded by £17 million additional savings made by Essex County Council last year.

The Council had set a target of making £55m savings during the 2013/14 financial year and by December; it had exceeded this target by £13m.

However, today’s Cabinet announced that careful financial planning and management meant the Council had made extra further £17 million savings. This means the Council has saved around £450 million since 2008.

Today’s Cabinet meeting agreed that some of the savings made last year should be used to support and enhance services including:

£6 million to help improve the conditions of the county’s roads following the damage caused by the severe weather earlier this year. – meaning £54 million will be spent on road maintenance this year. Part of the savings made last year came from the reductions in energy costs as a result of the Council’s part night lighting scheme.

£2.1 million to help reduce the time people possibly needing the help and support of social services wait to be assessed by the Countywide Assessment and Review Team.

Earlier this year the Council agreed to use around £13 million of the savings towards supporting its commitments in the 2014/2015 budget.

The remaining savings will be used to support the Council’s ongoing work to radically change the way it works and supports local communities in the future. This is part of the Council’s need to save at least a further £237 million by 2017.

Leader of Essex County Council, Councillor David Finch, said: “This shows very clearly we manage our finances in a robust way despite the huge challenges we are facing. These additional savings are testament to our commitment to use Council Tax payers money effectively and efficiently.

“We have the daunting task of needing to make over £200,000 savings a day over the next three years to balance government funding cuts and the pressures on our services and budgets.

“Despite this we must invest in growing our economy through improving our road network and improving the lives of every member of our community. This is exactly what we have done today.”

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