People across North Yorkshire are to be given the opportunity to make their views known on the county council’s spending plans and priorities in a series of consultation events over the next two months.
Senior councillors and officers will explain the financial challenges facing the authority, and how it’s proposed to tackle them.
The council is already in the middle of a four-year programme to reduce its spending by £69m by 2014/15 as a result of cuts in Government grants and other pressures on spending.
But the council now anticipates that as a result of a further council tax freeze and further changes to Government funding it will have to reduce spending by an extra £22m over the next two years on top of the £69m, making a total reduction of £91m by 2014/15.
The council does not expect to have confirmation of its funding from central Government until January 2013, but consideration is already being given to where further reductions in spending might be made, because it will be necessary to begin implementing these reductions in April 2013.
County Councillor John Weighell, the Leader of the Council said:
Our original task of finding £69m in savings posed very considerable challenges.
Despite that, the council has done all it can to protect frontline services, and will continue to do so. More than half of the savings already made have come from reducing administration and bureaucracy.
However, we have now reached the stage where we will have to look at every service the council provides.
We also have to work to a short deadline. The first indication that the council would face cuts of this nature came in August, and we didn’t know the full scale of the savings until last month. In fact, we expect the figures will only be confirmed in January, just a few months before we need to be making the savings.
- Northallerton Library next Tuesday (11 December)
- Scarborough Library (Thursday 13 December)
- Belle Vue Mills, Skipton (Thursday 10 January)
- Pickering Library (Tuesday 15 January)
- Harrogate Library (Wednesday 16 January)
- Selby Library (Thursday 17 January)
- Richmond School (Tuesday 22 January)
All the meetings begin at 6.30pm.
Further details can be found online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/budget, where people can give their views on the county council’s spending priorities.