The County Council has unveiled its ‘Integrated Plan’ covering the next five years, which aims to save £50.4 million in 2011/12 and £160.6 million over the life of the plan.
The proposals are the Council’s answer to the most difficult financial situation in its history, as the Council deals with the increasing pressures of demand, an increasing and ageing population and inflation coupled with a 14 per cent reduction in the core funding received from Government. The package is a mixture of overdue efficiency savings and radical service reductions.
The cuts cover all aspects of the Council’s business:
- £1 million from youth services,
- £761,000 from home to school transport and
- £600,000 from children’s centres.
Direct support to some children and young people will end, saving
- £1 million from disability services,
- £527,000 from specialist teaching,
- £315,000 from budgets for educating looked after children and
- £301,000 from the Cambridgeshire Racial Equality and Diversity Service.
The Council aims to save
- £950,000 from children’s social care,
- £240,000 from the early year service, and
- £3 million from mainstream and special educational needs school transport.
In Libraries, Learning and Culture, the Council will save
- £282,000 through operational efficiencies, income generation and ‘new ways of working’,
- £108,000 from redesigning the mobile library service (i.e. reducing frequency), and
- £100,000 from introducing more self service and using volunteers in libraries
- creating a Trust to run libraries will save a further £294,000.
In social care,
- promoting prevention and ‘localism’ (whatever that means) will save £2.9 million,
- adopting reablement (= helping people to look after themselves better at home) cuts a further £4.75 million, and
- decreasing the cost of high cost and complex placements will save £1.3 million.
In Environment Services,
- a proposed restructure of Trading Standards saves £641,000 over four years.
- Spending on environment and climate change drops by £492,000,
- restructuring waste services will save £159,000 and
- a proposed reduction in senior management will save £100,000.
Spending on highways services drops by save £2.4 million, and ‘restructuring’ Highways and Access saves £1.1 million.
In public transport, phasing out subsidised bus services will save £2.7 million but causes further problems of isolation for rural communities.