Westminster Council to Cut Back Offices and Bureaucracy
15th February 2011
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Westminster Council has today announced that the majority of spending cuts will hit back offices, red tape and middle managers and not frontline services.

The council has to make £60 million worth of savings over the next two years and is aiming to concentrate on protecting people's priorities including low council tax, clean streets and services that help the most vulnerable.

Councillor Melvyn Caplan, Westminster’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Inevitably the need to reduce the national budget deficit means that there will be service reductions, but around 80% of our budget reductions hit the back office, not the frontline.

“That means that there won’t be a single children’s centre closure in Westminster; there won’t be the end of the Big Society policies announced by Liverpool or the closure of leisure centres as planned by Leeds City Council. And we’ll maintain our library service, our leisure centres and our public toilets.”

On the subject of council tax, Westminster council has said it is committed to freezing it for the fourth year running. The current band D council tax of £687.62 is the second lowest rate in the country.

Cllr Caplan said: “Our low council tax puts money back into local households to help them live in Westminster. Local taxpayers living just outside Westminster, on the other side of the street in Camden or Brent, will pay at least an extra £600 next year - enough for a family holiday. We think that our low tax, focus on efficiency and quality services are what people want.”

Further savings will be made by shedding another 250 (many from middle management) and sharing services with Fulham and Kensington, Hammersmith and Chelsea councils.

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