IT’S not the news that those impacted by this year’s brutal £17.5m cuts to public services will want to hear – but West Berkshire Council needs to find a further £22.4m of savings by 2020.
This year saw council tax rise by the maximum four per cent, children’s centres close and funding for disabled children cut – while there is still uncertainty about the future of the district’s library service.
But the worst isn’t over and, once again, all options are being considered as the council looks to plug a massive reduction in government funding over the next three years.
Last week, at a special meeting, councillors approved an efficiency plan in order to accept the Government’s four-year financial settlement which will signal the next set of cuts.
The efficiency plan had to be published on the council’s website by October 14 – last Friday – in order for it to accept the settlement.
The council says that, by accepting the settlement, it gives it stability in knowing what funding reductions to expect in the coming years.
However, it admits that it doesn’t actually know what details the Government is expecting it to include in the efficiency plan, which has led to fears it could be rejected.
See this week's Newbury Weekly News for more on this story.