Ashfield District Council leader raises concerns about reduction in government funding

NMAC10-2465-1''Kirkby Ashfield District Council Offices
NMAC10-2465-1''Kirkby Ashfield District Council Offices

The leader of Ashfield District Council has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to raise concerns about the planned cuts in government grants.

Council leader Chris Baron has said that if the government reduces its funding, it may result in cuts to council services - and this could increase the workload of other organisations such as the police.

Bosses at the Labour-run authority say that they had been expecting a 10 per cent reduction in government funding in 2015/16 but following the June Spending Review, they have forecast a 16 per cent drop.

They also say that they had planned to make efficiency savings of £750,000 in 2014/15 and in the following years but now they will need to save an average of £1million for the next five years.

Coun Baron said: “I have written to the minister responsible for local government finance, Eric Pickles, to stress just what these cuts mean for a district with a high level of deprivation like Ashfield.

“If we were to cut a service which we provide to vulnerable people in the district, there is every chance that another agency like the police or the health service may need to spend more money resolving the problem further down the line. And yet these bodies have also seen their budgets reduced significantly.”

Meanwhile, cabinet members will meet tomorrow evening to discuss the impact of the funding reductions.

Coun Baron added: “The council will respond to this challenge, and we will enlist the help of local residents to understand exactly what their priorities are, when we put together our savings proposals.

“This council has shown itself to be very resilient in the face of previous government cuts and I am confident that its members and officers can meet this new challenge.”