COUNCIL bosses face the grim prospect of cutting more jobs and services as they strive to save an additional £8.7 million during the next two years, it has been revealed.
The figure comes on top of the combined £9.8 million in budget cuts already identified for 2013-14 and 2014-15.
Bury Council leaders have now been forced to revise their Plan for Change document in the wake of having to find the extra savings which have been blamed on a range of Government initiatives and cuts.
This means additional savings of £6,446,000 for 2013-14 and £2,295,000 for 2014-15 must be found. Among the potential savings options contained within the revised 39-page Plan for Change document, which is now the subject of consultation, are: l Loss of three social care posts from a 60-strong team, working across children’s services, and reducing funding for children’s centres l Reductions in highway maintenance l Additional car parking charges including removal of 15-minutes free parking and the introduction of a £1 fixed fee for Sunday parking.
l Removal of the Ranger service and no maintenance of football pitches l Reduction in street cleansing personnel and, potentially, vehicles and to reprioritise cleansing rounds.
l Reducing pool opening hours at quiet times and review lifeguard provision when others are present l Increasing certain but, as yet, unspecified charges l Share buildings with other organisations to reduce costs l A review of carer support programmes and all services and systems within adult care services l Review provision and funding arrangements for care support at Falcon and Griffin extra care scheme.
l Changes to employee terms and conditions to achieve savings on car allowance costs and an increase in car parking income.
A series of staff meetings took place yesterday and Tuesday when employees were briefed about the latest financial development and the implications which could arise as a result.
Disclosing the consequences of an additional £8.7 million worth of savings, Bury Council chief executive Mike Kelly said: “Inevitably, there will be cuts across the board, reductions to services and a change to the way they are provided. And I cannot promise that there will be no compulsory redundancies.”
Council leader Cllr Mike Connolly said: “This is the biggest challenge we have faced as an authority. The increased cuts imposed upon us by the Government are ferocious.”
Following this week’s announcement, there could be an additional sting in the tail with the potential of more cuts to follow. The council faces an anxious wait before the outcome of the local Government financial settlement is known on December 19.
n People can have their say on the revised Plan for Change throughout the consultation period which finishes on January 10.
They can attend a public meeting or township forum, view the proposals online and submit feedback on bury.gov.uk/planforchange or email planforchange@ bury.gov.uk