|Council Agrees Proposals To Save £15 million
Plus stay of execution for youth services, street cleansing, libraries and community halls
On Tuesday 8th February senior councillors agreed a set of proposals that would save Hounslow Council more than £15 million, as it tries to find £18 million savings for the next financial year.
A package of savings was originally proposed in December, following the Government’s announcement that it would be cutting funding to the council by £60 million over the next four years. These were then put to public consultation to find out residents views of the options.
The consultation received more than 6,000 replies, and as a direct result of feedback from local residents, changes have been made, including:
· Retaining the majority of youth services
Cllr Jagdish Sharma, leader of Hounslow Council said: "The volume and quality of responses we received have been vital in helping us to make the tough choices about where we can save money after central government cut £60 million from our budget for the next four years. We are committed to listening to local people and making sure the services they are important to them are protected as much as possible. However, we still have to find the rest of the £18 million to balance the budget for the next financial year, so there are even more tough decisions ahead."
Local MP Mary Macleod said: “I am glad that almost 7,000 residents responded to the public consultation and shared their views. I was disappointed though that the consultation focused on cutting frontline services and didn’t give residents enough opportunity to give their ideas for innovative solutions to reducing costs and ways for the Council to become more efficient and better at what it does.
“Before the Council approves its budget at the beginning of March, I would strongly urge them to look again at more creative options for saving money, such as sharing some services with other local authorities – Hammersmith and Fulham Council are looking to make significant savings by working together with Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster Councils to provide better services for local residents.”
Another meeting of the Executive next week (15 February) will look at further savings proposals to help meet the £18 million savings target.
The proposals will then go to the full borough council meeting on 1 March, when the budget will be set.
February 9, 2011