Another £40m in cuts threatens Town Hall
9:06am Tuesday 19th February 2013 in Local
BOLTON Council could be forced to slash spending by a further £40 million, a new report has revealed.
Since 2010, Town Hall bosses have cut £60 million from the budget and tomorrow the local authority is set to approve this year’s budget, including further spending cuts of £43.6 million over the next two years.
And now, predictions show the council might have to cut another £40.8 million between 2015 and 2017.
Town Hall chiefs have also warned that the local authority’s ability to generate cash would be “virtually non-existent”, unlike in previous years.
A council budget report said: “In recent years initial forecast of the council’s savings requirements have proved to be understated and, therefore, savings of £40 million over the following two years are not unrealistic.
“Even if things improve, savings of £30 million are likely to be at the bottom end of any target and, even at this level, would be a huge service and financial challenge to the council.” The report added: “The council’s budgets have been subjected to significant reductions over the past two years and face even more challenging reductions in the future.
“The scope for the council to generate funds to meet one-off costs or replace reserves over the next four years is, unlike in the past, virtually non-existent.”
In the first raft of £60 million worth of cuts, the council axed 833 posts. Up to 538 more jobs are set to be lost over the next two years.
Bolton Council’s leader, Cllr Cliff Morris, has now called on the Government to do something to “kick-start the economy”.
He said: “It’s up to the Government to get the economy working and then pull back a bit. It needs to be trying to get people into jobs, rather than trying to cut them.
“They said there would be four years of austerity and then we would be on the right track, but now they’re saying it will be six to eight years.
“We need something to kick-start the economy.”
A full meeting of the council takes place tomorrow at 6.30pm where the council’s budget is set to be approved.
A demonstration organised by Bolton trade unions will take place at the entrance to the Town Hall before the meeting starts.