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County finances need revisiting
3:33pm Friday 20th July 2012 in Evesham
THE finances at Worcestershire County Council may need to be looked at again due to unprecedented pressure on the budget, a new report warns.
An ever-increasing elderly population, the rising cost of pensions to staff, inflation and a lack of support from the Government have been cited as four areas of major concern.
An in-house report by senior staff at County Hall suggests the total number of cuts needed under a controversial savings scheme which runs to 2016 could hit £86 million.
The Conservative leadership has previously said old targets of £70 million would need to be revised upwards to around £90 million. The report, known as the Final Accounts 2011/12, states “demographic pressures” will increase the dependency on adult social care services and predicts Government funding will decline by 15 per cent over the next few years.
The council’s savings programme, known as BOLD - Better Outcomes Leaner Delivery - is going to result in 857 posts going, of which over 300 have gone already.
Councillor Clive Holt, who chairs the committee, said the BOLD programme had been “very successful” so far. “It’s producing substantial savings without impacting on front line services, which is very important,” he said. “There will be more targets to hit but the council has managed to meet them in the past.”
The report stated that all council departments spent slightly less than they originally budgeted to last year, which helped the stringent savings policy.