Council reveals plan to save £127m in four years – but freeze tax
SAVINGS of £127 million over the next four years have been proposed by Derbyshire County Council.
The authority's cabinet has recommended the annual budget for 2013-2014 is set at £533 million.
The cuts come as part of the council's five-year plan, which includes budget reduction targets of £27 million.
But the authority said further reductions of £100 million were required over the next four years.
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Savings include £7.7 million from the children and young adults service – through ways such as transferring the responsibility for careers advice to pupils to the schools themselves as well as the "rationalisation" of management and back-office services.
And the cuts, which come on top of £70 million savings and 1,600 job losses at the council in the past three years, also include finding about £9 million from adult care services.
This is proposed by continuing "ongoing savings" from stair-lift maintenance activities, as well as on meals and laundry services.
But the authority said it was also proposing to freeze council tax for a third year running – for the first time ever.
Members of the council's cabinet have recommended to the rest of the authority that council tax for properties in the Band D category will freeze to £1,077.22.
Andrew Lewer, leader of the county council, said: "We understand some residents are struggling to make ends meet.
"I am pleased that we can again announce zero increase.
"Council tax had never been frozen for two successive years before so, by proposing to freeze it for a third successive year, we are really showing our commitment to supporting residents in tough times. The squeeze on public spending to reduce the national debt means tough choices have to be made.
"We've already saved £70m and will save a further £27m over the coming year.
"We will continue to protect frontline services and jobs wherever possible and look at more efficient ways of working to make every penny of taxpayers' money work for their benefit."
The proposals will need final approval at a full council meeting on February 6.