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Thursday 13 December 2012

Cheshire East Council working hard to bridge funding gap


Cheshire East Council is working hard to bridge the funding gap and protect essential public services.

Council Leader Michael Jones today announced that the funding gap for 2013/14 has already been reduced to single figures, as part of a longer-term plan to balance the Council’s books.

This major reduction in costs is the result of an ongoing effort, spearheaded by the Leader, to identify all possible ways to save money and reduce the tax burden on local people, whilst at the same time protecting essential frontline services.

Major reductions in unnecessary costs have already resulted from a thorough examination of the Council’s service structures and ways of working by the Leader and his Cabinet.  More work will be done over Christmas and in the New Year.

Councillor Jones said: “We have left no stone unturned. Savings must be driven by improving the way the Council organises itself and by improving its productivity.

“We have detailed plans, over the next few years, to reduce our management overheads, cut out waste and unnecessary bureaucracy and rethink the way we do things.

“To provide better value for money, we will make bold changes to slim down and group together related activities. This will provide a better and more seamless service to local people.

“We know that Government funding in future years will be much less, as we reduce the public deficit in the UK. But we are responding well in the Council to this unprecedented challenge.

“We know there will be increasing pressures also on our limited resources as we go on caring for the growing number of elderly people, from safeguarding vulnerable children and adults, from welfare reform and for changes in education as more local schools seek to become academies.

“Over Christmas, my Cabinet and I will continue our tireless work to have a plan in place to balance our books and to create an effective Council that is sustainable in the future.

“This will include using fewer buildings to reduce costs and slimming down our management structures to protect essential frontline jobs. The Chief Executive and I will be announcing more about this in the New Year.

“After Christmas, we will also start a conversation with local people about the part they can play in helping us reduce our costs and offer them an even better deal.

“People should have confidence in Cheshire East Council. It is changing for the better. We have already made improvements since the demise of the former local authorities, including better waste services and higher levels of attainment in our local schools.

“Our sound financial management means also that we will be able to make major investment in new roads and other infrastructure to grow our local economy, to create new jobs and bring greater prosperity for residents.

“You have my complete commitment to continue these improvements and to give a fair deal to the people of Cheshire East.”

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