Hertfordshire County Council reveal �110m savings package

HERTFORDSHIRE County Council has announced a plan to save �110m a year by 2014 - but claim the cuts will not affect frontline services.

The efficiences were unveiled at a packed public meeting in County Hall, held on Tueday, and have been outlined a week before the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review is announced.

In the wake of the review the authority are also prepared to find another �40m of savings but warn that charges may be increased to balance the council’s books.

Leader of the council, Robert Gordon, said: “We know that our income will fall over the next few years, but the bulk of the efficiencies are needed to release money to help fund the relentless additional costs we face from our aging population (many of them with expensive care needs), inflation and other pressures such as rising numbers of school children, Landfill Tax and the wear and tear on our roads.

“Some even tougher decisions lie ahead about the range and standard of the services we provide. I am sure the people of Hertfordshire understand the national context for any difficult decisions we will have to make.

“This is the time for radical rethinking, not minor tinkering. It is an opportunity to transform the council and end up in better shape than where we started.”

Hertfordshire County Council has set a provisional savings target that rises up to �150m, roughly 20 per cent of its outgoings (not including schools), which is part of an ongoing efficiency project.

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The shadow of the spending review looms over all decisions on public spending and Stevenage Liberal Democrat councillor Robin Parker blames the bleak financial situation on the previous government.

He said: “Whatever anyone says it was a result of too much spending by the Labour government.

“The last government could have started the cuts but we have to do it.”

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