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Council Tax Rise and Service Cuts Warning

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6:01am 3rd September 2013

Cornwall is facing another £43m pounds of cuts.

On top of that we could be paying almost another 2% on our council tax.

County Hall says it is getting less money from the government - and warns the Duchy faces tough choices by 2015.

Council Leader John Pollard said: “We have already saved £170 million over the last four years, with £160m of this coming from reducing back office functions and administration, but we will need to save a further £196 million by 2019 to balance our books. 

"The work we have done over the past few weeks shows that even if we decide to increase council tax by 1.97 %, we will have £24 million less to deliver services in 2014/2015. This is on top of the £19million savings already planned for this year as part of the medium term financial strategy.

“These are stark figures and we need to establish what can be delivered in terms of services, how the Council can be organised in the light of the budgetary constraints and which services and responsibilities we will defend. We need a vision for Cornwall which responds to the much reduced funding we have.

“We will have to make some hard decisions but the reality is that we have no choice: times are hard and there is no money.  If we want to defend care for the elderly, support for the young and protection for the vulnerable then other elements of our work and service will have to change.”

But Eleanor McGrath from The Taxpayers Alliance disputed that there was little option: "No - that's shocking. Taxpayers in Cornwall will be absolutely dismayed by this announcement that, on one hand they're going to have to have an increase in their council tax and, on the other hand, have their services cut.

"Back in 2011 we found that twelve council staff members at Cornwall County Council were actually taking home over £100,000. They've cut back this year - but that's still a significant amount.

"There are so many ways they can cut back spending."

Last month the Council announced details of a Cornwall wide consultation on the budget and Alex Folkes said that they wanted as many people as possible to give their views on the draft proposals: “This is a genuine consultation and I would urge everyone to read the proposals and help us to set the priorities for the future.

“We are staging a series of consultation events to find out the views of members of the public as well as voluntary and community groups during September and October. These include public meetings in each of the 19 community network areas between 5 September and 9 October, and a Cornwall Budget Debate at County Hall, Truro on 10 October which will be webcast live on the Council’s website www.cornwall.gov.uk.”

The public meetings, all of which will begin at 6.30 pm, are being held at:

Thursday, 5 September             St Austell One Stop Shop

Friday, 6 September                  Perranzabuloe Parish Rooms

Monday, 9 September                Alexander Hall, St Blazey

Wednesday, 11 September        Launceston Town Hall

Thursday, 12 September           Shire House Suite, Bodmin  

Friday, 13 September                Wadebridge Council Offices

Monday, 16 September             St Pinnock Village Hall, near Liskeard

Tuesday, 17 September             Pool Innovation Centre

Thursday, 19 September           St John’s Hall, Penzance

Friday, 20 September                Helston Town Hall

Monday, 23 September             Roche Victory Hall

Wednesday, 25 September        St Germans Community Centre

Friday, 27 September                Millennium House, Pensilva

Monday, 30 September              Newquay Treviglas Community College

Wednesday, 2 October              Falcon Hotel, Bude

Thursday, 3 October                  Mabe Village Hall

Friday, 4 October                      Council Chamber, County Hall, Truro

Monday 7 October                     Frank Johns Centre, Hayle

Wednesday, 9 October              Clease Hall, Camelford

6:01am 3rd September 2013

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