Government spending review requires £100 million savings in Northamptonshire

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Northamptonshire County Council says it will have to make savings of £100 million over the next four years following the government’s spending review.

As part of the effort to reduce the nation’s budget deficit, Chancellor George Osborne announced that funding to local government for the financial year 2015/16 would be reduced by 10 per cent.

The county council had already forecast in its medium term financial plan that it would have to allow for government budget reductions of about eight per cent. The extra two per cent equates to about an additional £3million.

However the county council said it welcomed the news that the government will be funding a further council tax freeze over the next two years as well as the announcement that it will build 20 new university technical colleges (UTCs) nationwide.

Northamptonshire already has two UTCs, but the council is keen to see the provision of them extended to the north of the county.

Cllr Bill Parker, county council cabinet member for finance and performance, said: “One of the advantages of the county council making a medium term financial plan is that it helps us make preparations so this sort of announcement doesn’t take us by surprise.

“This reduction in government funding is a little bit more than anticipated which goes to show the scale of the financial challenge we face as a nation.

“What we need to do now is go away and consider this revision of the figures and see what this means for the authority.

“However, it is good news that the government will be funding a further freeze in council tax and will be expanding its programme of building university technical colleges as this is something we are keen to pursue.”

The county council has made savings of £144 million between 2009/10 and 2012/13 and is on track to make savings of £33 million in the current financial year, 2013/14.

The council’s current medium term plan is projecting savings of about £77.5 million for the three financial years, 2013/14 to 2015/16.