On Thursday night (17 February 2011) the Overview & Scrutiny Committee discussed CWaC's proposed budget for next year with the Council's Leader, Deputy Leader, Chief Executive and Director of Resources. The budget has been prepared with the back-drop of the Coalition Government's austerity cuts and the corresponding reduction in Government grants paid to the Council.
The Executive has produced a budget which will freeze the Council Tax at the level charged last year and ensure, that notwithstanding the cuts in government funding front line services are preserved.
Unlike the carnage being reported elsewhere CWaC is set to protect front line services and ensure that it delivers those services at less cost and more efficiently. So all the SureStart centres, all Leisure Centres, all Libraries etc will remain open.
We think there will have to be some job losses - however they are estimated to be around 140. And even these losses have to be seen in the context that nearly 700 people who wanted voluntary redundancy two years ago when CWaC was created couldn't be let go as we needed their services. Yearly staff turnover exceeds 140 per year too.
I envisage that the Council we adopt this budget next week.