Cash crisis as council forced to save �86.3million

NORTH Somerset Council faces having to make an extra �39million of savings over the next seven years.

The authority is facing the radical new cutbacks due to extra cutbacks in public expenditure by the Government which could leave it with half the money it had in 2010/11 to fund local services.

While the council previously believed it would have to make �47.3million of savings from 2011/12 to 2014/15, that figure has now risen to �86.3million over the course of seven years.

With the council having already had to implement deep cuts over the past few years it will place services under increased financial pressure.

The announcement has come after it was revealed that the Government’s national austerity measures will have to continue for at least a further three years.

Council leader Nigel Ashton said the authority had already made headway on identifying savings targets, saying: “Officers and councillors have worked extremely hard over the last two years to streamline services and introduce more efficient ways of working in order to make savings.

“This has been a huge undertaking and many difficult decisions have had to be made.

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“This additional �39m in savings will test us even further but we have given ourselves time to plan ahead so the right decisions can be made.

“However, there is no doubt these additional enforced savings will have a serious effect on local services.”

The council is now starting work on a new round of financial planning which will detail the budget proposals that need to be considered for the next five years.

This will be considered by the council’s executive on October 23.