New Forest District Council saves £900,000 despite cuts

NEW Forest District Council managed to save £900,000 on its predicted spending last year, despite receiving £3.9million less from the Government and council tax.

Councillors gathered at a Cabinet meeting where executive director Bob Jackson told members that during 2013/14 the council had continued to provide excellent frontline services to local people, as well as offer new services, in spite of the reduction in income.

Council tax has remained unchanged for a fifth year, but the council says all its major services, including housing, environment, planning, public health, leisure and employment, have been protected and, in fact, the council improved or introduced new services, such as a household glass collection.

The General Fund budget for 2013/14 had been set at £19.156 million.

The provisional spending for the year is £18.217 million – a saving of £939,000, of which £709,000 has been generated from additional income. Of this, health and leisure centre users have contributed more than £300,000, and recycling £100,000.

Among its key achievements the council lists working with the emergency services to protect communities under threat of flooding in February, including the delivery of 7,500 sandbags to the north of Fordingbridge, which were successfully used to divert ground water away from properties under threat.

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