Friday, 16 July 2010


Additional savings of around £1.5 million over the next four years may have to be found by Thanet District Council – that was the stark warning given to members last night. (Thursday 15 July)

A report from the Chief Executive spelt out the impact of announcements made to date by the coalition government. These have already seen the council’s grant funding for 2010/11 cut by nearly half a million pounds. A total of £459,811 has been lost through cuts to a range of grants, including the end of the free swimming initiative, the loss of money for SEEDA for the Margate Renewal Partnership and cuts to the Housing Planning Delivery Grant.

The forecast over the next four years is even more bleak, following the government’s announcement in the emergency budget in June that government departments would see their budgets cut by around a quarter over the next four years. This could mean a loss in grants to the council of £3.03 million during that period. The council was already planning to make savings by 2014/15 of £7.59 million, but now this target is likely to be £9.09 million.

The exact amount of money the council receives will not be known until December 2010, but in the meantime, the council is looking at ways of delivering the savings needed, while allowing the highest priority services to be maintained as far as possible. A series of reviews will be carried out over the next few months, looking at a range of issues, including port operations, waste and recycling, leisure activities and ways of improving the way the council works to deliver more savings.

Leader of the Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “In line with the rest of the public sector, the council is facing a tough time. Fortunately, we are in a better position than many other councils, as we have been planning for some time to reduce our budgets. We were already planning to make savings of more than £7 million in the next four years, much of which will be delivered through sharing services with our neighbouring councils. We now face the prospect of finding even more savings. It’s going to be hard, but we will do it and ensure that core services are maintained.”

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