Hot words as council cuts are approved

First published in New Forest News

DORSET County Council has approved the latest round of cuts as it looks to trim £19.5million from its budget – including £10.9m of fresh cuts.

Following a morning of heated debate members voted to approve the budget for the 2013/14 financial year.

Council leader Angus Campbell, who presented the budget to the council, started by making reference to the 1929 St Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago, adding: “It is hoped today’s business will not be as extreme.”

He said that, despite the council slashing £43m from its budgets over the last two years and reducing its workforce by more than 500 posts, continuing reductions in funding from central Government meant the authority expects to have to save £46million over the next three years.

Cllr Campbell said of the £19.5m savings the council need to find in the next financial year, £5.6m would come through ongoing savings already identified and £3m had been identified from central budgets. The remaining £10.9m is proposed to come from service budgets.

However, he added: “Our priorities remain to protect vulnerable people, and support communities.”

The budget also included a proposal to freeze council tax for 2013/14. A mid-range Band D property currently pays £1,168.29.

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