Cambridge faces £163 million in Government cuts
26th November 2010
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Cambridgeshire Council chiefs face the tough task of cutting their operating budget by more than £163 million over the next four years, equating to cuts of around £41 million a year from 2011 onwards.


An official report, released this week, outlined the drastic amount Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridgeshire Fire Service will be expected to save over the next four years and highlighted local libraries, youth clubs and road improvements as areas for immediate review.


The report also encouraged increases in parking charges within Cambridge as well as similar local revenue streams such as fines and business rates.


The cuts come in the wake of the recent shake up announced by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government that form part of David Cameron's 'big society' plan, which expects local community groups and 'grassroot organisations' to take over the running of their local area.


However, Nick Dawe, Cambridgeshire Country Council's Finance Director, has questions whether volunteers and community groups will be able to meet the challenge: “In some service areas, partial or full service retraction is planned, with communities being given the ‘opportunity’ to fill the gap."

“This seems to be the main thrust of localism and big society across the county. It is acknowledged this approach may be geographically variable in its take-up and impact, and it will likely take time for transformation to be realised.”

“Moving to a local level will not always be most effective, especially where there are economies of scale to be made.”

The Council announced it will also cut 300 jobs from its own personnel base within the next five years to meet the demanding cuts; alongside this, cuts will be made from the local Police and Fire service.

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