Council meets downturn with robust budget plan

PUBLISHED: 10:01 19 December 2008 | UPDATED: 07:08 30 May 2010

FINANCIAL security and a robust budget strategy was agreed by councillors this week, as Uttlesford District Council took action to protect itself from the economic downturn. Members approved no less than £600,000 worth of savings for the next financial ye

FINANCIAL security and a robust budget strategy was agreed by councillors this week, as Uttlesford District Council took action to protect itself from the economic downturn.

Members approved no less than £600,000 worth of savings for the next financial year at a meeting on Tuesday night, as they prepare for tougher times ahead and keep one eye on past financial failures.

Cllr Jim Ketteridge, leader of the council, said: "The pressures facing us in the coming years are significant, but we are taking strong and determined action now in order to deal with them.

"Income will be considerably less for the foreseeable future, while the demands on our services, particularly in areas like homelessness, housing and benefits, are increasing already.

"Our finance team has shown foresight by identifying the problems early and recommending a robust strategy in response."

Part of the new strategy is to set up new partnerships with other councils to provide joint schemes, such as parking and waste management that can save a great deal of money.

"There will have to be significant - and in some cases radical - changes in the way many services are delivered," added Mr Ketteridge. "The council will be exploring opportunities including partnership working in most areas in order to reduce the cost of delivering those services whilst still maintaining the quality the public expects.

"The recent parking partnership we have entered into with Colchester and Braintree is an excellent example of this.

"I would like to emphasise that this is nothing like the problems we encountered last year. We are firmly in control of the council's finances and these issues are being faced by every local authority in the country."

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