Essex Council leader warns Harlow residents: “Cannot continue to shield residents over cuts”

Politics / Tue 8th Dec 2015 at 04:26pm

ESSEX County Council will not be able to continue to shield residents from the effects of Government cuts, leader Cllr David Finch has said.

Speaking at a meeting of the authority’s Full Council, Cllr Finch outlined the challenges faced by the Council following the recent Spending Review.

Cllr Finch said: “As always, the devil is in the detail. But as that detail slowly trickles out, we are beginning to see a gloomy picture emerge.

“The promise that councils will keep 100 percent of business rates is a hugely important shift in how local government is funded and something that we have long called for, but we will only see the benefits of this from 2020.

“But to counter this, funding will fall by almost a quarter, and pressures such as social care continue to rise, whilst new pressures such as the National Living Wage will add up to £18 million onto the budget.

“We have found more than £500 million in savings over the past five years, but we are not a reservoir that Whitehall can keep tapping, and we have to have an open and honest conversation with the people of Essex.

“As a Council we have committed to keeping council tax as low as possible and this has seen a freeze over the past five years. But we simply cannot continue to shield communities from the impacts of the cuts, and there will be difficult decisions ahead, both in terms of what services we provide and how they are paid for.”

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1 Comment for Essex Council leader warns Harlow residents: “Cannot continue to shield residents over cuts”:

2015-12-16 11:46:10

I have some ideas for you Cllr.Finch. How about reducing the number of officers paid more than the Prime Minister! Essex have 30 - the second largest number in the Country. How about investigating solar power for our street lamps instead of the ridiculous switch off that won't save a penny until 2020? How about not giving money to the Chinese Health Service? Just three ideas off the top of my head!

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