Sheffield City Council News Release
Sheffield will have to deal with greater cuts from Government than originally anticipated which will mean tougher decisions will have to be made on where tight resources could be spent.
That is the stark but realistic warning made by Sheffield City Council leaders as they continue to plan for the budget challenges from April next year.
The local authority was bracing itself for £40m worth of Government cuts in funding for 2013/14 but now expects to have a further £10m less to spend on services and deal with additional pressures such as energy bills, rising prices and increasing demand for its services.“I am passionate about Sheffield and providing good value for money services to local people but the latest news that we will be hit even harder is a real body blow and without doubt savage and unfair,” said Cllr Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council.
“Over the last two years the Council has made £141m of cuts to services as a result of the Government’s austerity programme. That equates to around £280 for every resident in this city thanks to the reduction in grants to us as a council.
“That places added strain on already stretched resources. So now we are working hard to focus on where we can possibly spend less.
“Whilst we are unable to go into detail at the moment as we now need more time to find these savings and consider proposals to take to the public, we can be certain of one thing, things will have to change as we cannot afford to stand still.
“I will not at this moment guarantee what that change will look like, what I can guarantee is that we will continue to protect services for those people who need it the most and work with businesses and our partners to make the most of opportunities to help the local economy grow and Sheffield continues to have its sights firmly set on the brightest future possible,” she added.
The Council has already drilled down on costs and saved £6m a year on IT by using an outside contractor, a further £1m could be reduced from directors’ pay bill as part of a proposed restructure which is currently out to consultation with staff affected and saving £12m this year and a further £50m over the life of the of Streets Ahead scheme to improve and maintain the city’s roads by reorganising how it is financed to save money.
“We are under no illusion that the months ahead and indeed years, are going to be the toughest we have faced in generations thanks to a double whammy of cut upon cut by the Government, “ said Cllr Bryan Lodge, Cabinet member for Finance and Resources.
“We will do all we can to reduce our spending in a fair way and minimise the impact, where we can, on our communities, However, at the moment, there is very little that we can rule in or out as we put the spotlight on our spending. It will be tough but we hope local communities will understand the position we are now put in and wherever possible work with us,” he said.