Cuts will be transparent, vows council leader

Malvern Gazette: Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader Councillor Adrian Hardman, county council leader

NO nasty surprises will be in store at Worcestershire County Council – despite £98 million of cuts having to be made by 2017.

That’s the vow from the cash-strapped authority’s leader, who says taxpayers and staff deserve to be given clear details about where the axe will fall well in advance.

Councillor Adrian Hardman, who is facing the biggest challenge of his political career, has penned a yearly report about the state of play.

The address warns about the perils of fudging difficult decisions.

The council has already made a list of cuts public, including at least 600 job losses, £29 million off adult social care, turning off street lights after midnight and the scrapping of funding for 88 bus routes.

Coun Hardman said although the cuts may be unpopular, it is better than avoiding making decisions because they are tough.

Between April this year and the spring of 2015 just under £30 million will be slashed from spending, a record amount, but Coun Hardman said it was better than targeting a lower amount and having to announce nasty surprises at a later date.

He says Worcestershire must learn lessons from other councils such as Wolverhampton, which has announced a freeze on all spending unless it is deemed “essential”.

He said: “It is clear that the need to reduce the budget deficit is not going to go away and the pressure that we are under is tightening if we wish to continue to target our support at the most vulnerable.

"I am determined we’ll not become like some councils who are having to freeze all ‘in year’ spending and make budget cuts in an attempt to balance their books.”

The report has been rubbished by Councillor Peter McDonald, leader of the opposition Labour group, who said: “Services are being cut left, right and centre and people have had enough.”

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

3:14pm Mon 20 Jan 14

CJH says...

I'd like to know how they are defining 'essential'?
I'd like to know how they are defining 'essential'? CJH

4:13pm Mon 20 Jan 14

skychip says...

I do feel sorry for all those people who are living on a knife edge as regards the future of their jobs at the County Council.
I do feel sorry for all those people who are living on a knife edge as regards the future of their jobs at the County Council. skychip

7:07pm Mon 20 Jan 14

3thinker says...

CJH wrote:
I'd like to know how they are defining 'essential'?
Obviously protection of the £10,000 Divisional Fund every councillor is allocated each year is seen as essential.

That's £570,00 per year or £1,710,000 in the three financial years to 2017.

I notice as late as 5 Sept 2013 Cllr Hardman allocated £450 of his 'pot' to Pershore Town Council to promote the 381 Sunday bus service from Pershore/Eckington/C
roome. Not a wise investment if the service is part of the cuts!
[quote][p][bold]CJH[/bold] wrote: I'd like to know how they are defining 'essential'?[/p][/quote]Obviously protection of the £10,000 Divisional Fund every councillor is allocated each year is seen as essential. That's £570,00 per year or £1,710,000 in the three financial years to 2017. I notice as late as 5 Sept 2013 Cllr Hardman allocated £450 of his 'pot' to Pershore Town Council to promote the 381 Sunday bus service from Pershore/Eckington/C roome. Not a wise investment if the service is part of the cuts! 3thinker

9:02am Tue 21 Jan 14

green49 says...

MORE of HARDMANS LIES LIES LIES, He is good at it , RESIGN I SAY he is not fit to run the Council,
MORE of HARDMANS LIES LIES LIES, He is good at it , RESIGN I SAY he is not fit to run the Council, green49

10:20am Tue 21 Jan 14

CJH says...

Transparent? Only in the sense that we can see straight through these 'promises'.
Transparent? Only in the sense that we can see straight through these 'promises'. CJH

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree