Greenwich Council's council tax freeze thanks to 'ruthless' early action, says leader (From News Shopper)
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Greenwich Council's council tax freeze thanks to 'ruthless' early action, says leader
GREENWICH Council’s round of relatively small budget cuts and a two-year council tax freeze is thanks to "ruthless" early action, says its leader.
The plans - where £1.43m of cuts are proposed - will be considered at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
Leader of Greenwich Council Councillor Chris Roberts leader claimed £56m slashed over two years means Greenwich residents would enjoy a freeze in council tax until March 31 2015 plus an £8m investment towards schemes such as helping the unemployed back to work.
Cllr Roberts told News Shopper: "We are obviously very pleased to be in this position and to continue this council tax freeze.
"By taking decisions early we have a kind of financial premium.
"We couldn’t put that money back into our budget but it gives us a one-off slug of money that we can use to invest elsewhere."
He added: “For the past decade we have developed a ruthless approach to evaluating costs and savings while protecting our front line services.”
The money will go towards an employment scheme for those on benefits getting back to work as well as supporting the council’s own police unit working against criminal gangs.
Following the government’s announced budget cuts for local authorities in 2010 around 800 of 11,000 Greenwich council staff jobs have been axed.
Cllr Roberts says the vast majority of workers have left through redundancy or voluntary retirement.
The fresh round of cuts includes 12 posts being cut at the newly-opened Woolwich Centre – where workers from different buildings were brought under one roof.
Cllr Roberts said: "People won’t see any cut in service. It is just we now understand what the requirements of managing the building are and we realise we can be more efficient.
"There is less back-office administration needed in one building."