Funding for services in North Somerset slashed by almost £6million
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 November 2018
Taxpayers will face more austerity measures as funding for North Somerset Council services is cut by almost £6million next year.
Government money for services in North Somerset will drop by a further 36 per cent in 2019/20 – its grant has fallen from £34million in 2015-16 to £10.7million.
Unprecedented funding pressures and demand for adult and children’s social care is said to be ‘pushing councils to the limit’.
It will mean more pain for the public with another council tax rise possible, after years of cutbacks affecting roads, children’s services, libraries and more.
Cllr Ap Rees says the drop in funding is expected and the authority has been preparing for it.
He said: “This is no surprise. We’ve said for some time we’ve been working out how we can reconfigure some services and that’s what we are looking to do.
“We’ve been working for several years now looking at austerity and the way in which we need to do things differently.
“We are currently over budget in some areas and under in others, but we are pretty determined to make sure we do come in on budget by the end of the year.”
The authority has already agreed to cut £315,000 from its children’s centre budgets over the next two years, while its grounds maintenance budget has been slashed by £150,000.
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North Somerset Council is also set to lose out on almost £340,000 of Government highways funding in the next financial year.
Cllr Mike Bell, Liberal Democrats leader on North Somerset Council, said: “Unprecedented funding pressures and demand for adult and children’s social care is pushing councils to the limit.
“As a result, less money is being spent on the other services that keep our communities running such as libraries, local roads, early intervention and local welfare support.”
“Losing a further £5.9million of Government funding at this time is going to make things extremely challenging for the coming year.
“Many local authorities will reach the point where they only have the funds to provide statutory responsibilities and it will be our local communities and economies who will suffer the consequences.”