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Bury Council hit by another £15.8 million of cuts
BURY Council’s leader has hit out at “swingeing” cuts in government funding which will see the borough lose millions of pounds.
Draft figures show Bury will have to find £15.8 million in savings in 2015/16 due to a 14 per cent cut in its budget — more than the expected 10 per cent.
The council must also save an additional £2.2 million in 2014/15, on top of the package of cuts totalling £7.4 million which had already been planned.
By 2015/16, Bury will have seen cuts of £54 million — nearly 50 per cent of its controllable budget — in five years, which the Labour-run council says equates to more than £750 per household.
Council leader, Mike Connolly, said: “This latest set of swingeing cuts is off the scale. The residents of Bury deserve better and we are all paying a heavy price for the cut, slash and burn policies of this government who treat local authorities as the whipping boys for their public expenditure cuts programme.
“I don’t see any Whitehall departments losing their budgets on this scale.
“What we can expect are services which are likely to be radically different and the poorer because of these cuts. Because of this the very future of local government as we know it is threatened.
“We will have to produce a new budget plan like no other in the history of Bury, where we will see much more hardship and many more vulnerable and not so vulnerable people being affected.”
The new figures were being announced last night at a full council meeting and Plan For Change 3 is now being drawn up.
It will be held in November and follows two previous exercises to ask Bury people for their priorities as the council struggles to balance its budget.
Cllr Connolly is urging residents to join the Fair Deal For Bury campaign, which is calling for the government to reconsider Bury’s financial settlement.
He said: “The words ‘we are all in this together’ will ring very hollow for many of our most vulnerable residents and our loyal staff here in Bury for many, many years to come. Throughout these hard times, I have always hoped to see the elusive light at the end of the tunnel — these latest cuts mean that that light is further away than ever. I urge all political groups, MPs and our residents in Bury to join our Fair Deal For Bury campaign and fight for the survival of services we all need.”
To find out more about the campaign: go to bury.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=8179.
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