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Council bracing itself for more cuts
BOSSES at Hampshire County Council are getting geared up to make even more spending reductions after the Government indicated further cuts to the public sector.
The council has already had to find more than £100million in savings after Chancellor George Osborne’s four-year Comprehen-sive Spending Review.
Now, council leader Councillor Ken Thornber, pictured above, has said further efficiencies will have to be made after learning the Government could extend its period of austerity.
Cllr Thornber said: “I am pleased to say that we are ahead of the game in terms of progress against our target for this year, and our success last year has freed up funds to help offset the costs of restructuring, technology and training that is required to deliver changes and to become more businesslike in our approach.
“It is a credit to our staff that while making unprecedented levels of savings and experiencing considerable organisational change, the council continues to perform strongly and deliver quality services.”
Last year, the council cut costs by £55m, but it must make a further £45m in savings this financial year.
The council has reduced office space, renegotiated key contracts and restructured departments in order to make savings.
Cllr Thornber said: “Rather than indiscriminately cutting services, we have established a cost-reduction programme that looks to restructure the council and modernise and share services, with the aim of protecting frontline resources.
“We also intend to make reductions broadly over two years, rather than four, to reduce uncertainty and put the council in a strong position for the future.”