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Cornwall Faces More Cuts
1:10pm 22nd January 2013
(Updated 1:10pm 22nd January 2013)
Street lights in Cornwall could be switched off at night and teenagers could have to pay extra to get to college.
They are among the cuts being considered as the council tries to save almost £35 million
A whole raft of other things could be for the chop including cutting funding for leisure centres, libraries, the fire service and tourism … including Geevor tin mine.
The report due to be discussed tomorrow also talks about making us pay for on street parking.
Officials are warning this could become a reality if they cannot have a 2% rise in council tax and a cut in council tax benefit.
Chief Executive Kevin Lavery has insisted to Pirate FM that it is not blackmail:
"Absolutely not. We're just being honest with people. Councillors need to understand the financial implications. Unlike central government we can't run at a deficit, we have to balance our books. There isn't time to magic things out of nowhere."
He stressed that these were only options at this stage:
“The Cabinet has put forward a budget which balances our books and avoids serious cuts in frontline services. However this relies on a 1.97% increase in Council tax and Members supporting the preferred recommendation for the new localised council tax support scheme.
“The Leader has already said that if these difficult decisions are not made by Members it will leave the Council with no choice but to cut frontline services. The report which is going to the Cabinet on Wednesday identifies some of the areas where these cuts could be made. “
Among the options identified in the report are:
- Withdrawing funding for tourism activities
- Reducing subsidy to Geevor mine
- Increasing charges for some social care services
- Introducing charges for on street parking
- Reducing subsidised transport for post 16 students
- Reducing funding for libraries, one stop shops
- Reducing funding for leisure centres
- Reducing funding for community safety, including fire, road safety and emergency management services
- Switching off or further dimming of street lights
- Withdrawing funding for the localism service, which provides support to local Members, town and parish councils and local communities.
- Scrapping webcasting of Council meetings
Michael Crick, the Council’s Director of Resources said:
”This is a very difficult time for Members. We all want to protect the services the Council provides for people in Cornwall and have worked extremely hard to achieve this.
“Thanks to the planned and measured approach we have taken over the past two years we have managed to save around £126 million without significantly impacting on front line services. However it is just not possible to make these levels of cuts at this late stage in the budget process without making decisions which will significantly affect the future of our staff and the services we provide to people in Cornwall”.
“No-one wants to close libraries or leisure centres in Cornwall or increase charges for our services but these are the stark choices Members are facing”
1:10pm 22nd January 2013
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