FURTHER cuts will be made to services run by East Staffordshire Borough Council over the next year, in a bid to prevent an increase in next year’s council tax.
All non-statutory services – those which the council is not required by law to provide– will be reviewed in an attempt to slash budgets and save money for the authority in the coming months.
And it has been made clear that no areas will be out of bounds in this sweeping review.
Councillor Michael Fitzpatrick, deputy leader for finance, said: “We will present in February next year a balanced budget which will present a zero per cent council tax increase, and we will do that by look at non-statutory and income-generating services.
“There are no sacred cows.”
Statutory duties include services such as supporting those who are threatened with homelessness, and providing a housing strategy, and other housing matters, as well as collecting council tax, providing pest control and waste services and enforcing licensing rules.
Things which could be affected include cultural services, maintenance of parks and gardens and community development.
“With the amount of spending cuts that councils have endured of the term of this Parliament, unfortunately to carry on providing front line services and statutory services we have to start looking at marking some brave decisions, and we will look at everything.”
Central Government funding for East Staffordshire Borough Council has been reduced by £58 million, in real terms, in the past few years, yet the authority has managed to avoid increasing council tax to pay for it.
The new cooperative leadership of the council, which took control in February after overthrowing the Tory administration, said it plans to continue the trend in preparing for 2015/16.