Councils' spending power cut 1.7%

News Shopper: Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said a new spending settlement represented a 'bargain' for councils Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said a new spending settlement represented a 'bargain' for councils

Councils in England will see their spending power cut by 1.7% next year, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has announced.

He told MPs the settlement represented a "bargain" for local authorities, adding that the Government would offer support for the third year so that council taxes could be frozen.

Mr Pickles described the funding arrangements, which will take effect from next April, as a "watershed moment", with power shifted from Whitehall to town halls.

"This settlement recognises the responsibility of local government to fund sensible savings and make better use of resources."

The minister told the Commons that a small number of local authorities will require larger savings to be made, but he said no council will face a loss of more than 8.8% of their total spending power thanks to a new efficiency support grant.

"As the name implies, to qualify, councils will have to improve services to receive this grant. It is unfair on the rest of local government to expect them to subsidise other councils' failure to embrace modernity," he said.

Mr Pickles said councils were "sitting on" a record £16 billion of reserves.

Shadow communities and local government secretary Hilary Benn said: "It is clear that he is living in a world of his own, because he simply does not understand the impact that his decisions on funding are having on the services and local people who use and rely upon them."

An estimated 70% of council income will now be raised locally compared to 56% under the centrally-distributed "begging-bowl" Formula Grant system, said the Communities and Local Government Department (DCLG).

"From April 2013, councils can channel this greater local control into encouraging local jobs and local firms via a new business rate retention incentive that rewards them for growth. It could potentially add £10 billion to the economy by 2020."

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-communities-and-local-government(Department for Communities and Local Government)

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8:00pm Wed 19 Dec 12

megilleland says...

Folowing on from the post above about council funding and council tax according to The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government released today his:

50 ways to save: Examples of sensible savings in local government

I wonder how many of these have been adopted by the council especially as it's the Conservatives in the riding seat?

1. Share back office services
2. Community Budgets - Bring staff and money together
3. Use transparency to cut waste
4. Tackle duplicate payments
5. Clamp down on corporate charge cards
6. Special spending controls
7. Tackle fraud
8. Claw back money from benefit cheats
9. Get more for less by improving procurement
10. Buy together
11. Stop the scope for procurement fraud
12. Utilise £16 billion of reserves creatively
13. Improve council tax collection rates
14. Encourage direct debit and e-billing for council tax
15. Close council cash offices
16. Better land and property management
17. Hot-desking, estate rationalisation and sub-letting
18. Open a ‘pop up’ shop in spare office space
19. Close subsidised council canteens
20. Cancel away days in posh hotels and glitzy award ceremonies
21. Open a coffee shop in the library
22. Cut senior pay
23. Share senior staff
24. Scrapping the chief executive post entirely
25. Introduce a recruitment freeze
26. Freeze councillor allowances and end councillor pensions
27. Cut spending on consultants and agency staff
28. End expensive ’leadership’ courses
29. Cut spending on head hunters and expensive adverts
30. Review and reduce absenteeism
31. Scrap trade union posts
32. Charge for collecting trade union subscriptions
33. Stop spending money on commercial lobbyists
34. Stop translating documents into foreign languages
35. Reduce the number of publications and media monitoring
36. Earn more from private advertising
37. Cease funding ‘sock puppets’ and ‘fake charities’
38. Scrap the town hall Pravda
39. Stop providing free food and drink for meetings
40. Reduce first class travel
41. Cut mileage payments
42. Video conference instead of travel
43. Help the voluntary sector save you money
44. Cut printing costs
45. End lifestyle and equality questionnaires
46. Sell services
47. Hire out the town hall
48. Lease works of art not on display
49. Save money on computer software
50. And finally… ask your staff for more sensible savings ideas

To check out the reasoning read the document here:
https://www.gov.uk/g
overnment/uploads/sy
stem/uploads/attachm
ent_data/file/39264/
50_ways_2.pdf

I will post this on Bemont Voice as some people may wish to add comment on some of the suggestions above, especially as our council tax is going up 1.9%
Folowing on from the post above about council funding and council tax according to The Rt Hon Eric Pickles MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government released today his: 50 ways to save: Examples of sensible savings in local government I wonder how many of these have been adopted by the council especially as it's the Conservatives in the riding seat? 1. Share back office services 2. Community Budgets - Bring staff and money together 3. Use transparency to cut waste 4. Tackle duplicate payments 5. Clamp down on corporate charge cards 6. Special spending controls 7. Tackle fraud 8. Claw back money from benefit cheats 9. Get more for less by improving procurement 10. Buy together 11. Stop the scope for procurement fraud 12. Utilise £16 billion of reserves creatively 13. Improve council tax collection rates 14. Encourage direct debit and e-billing for council tax 15. Close council cash offices 16. Better land and property management 17. Hot-desking, estate rationalisation and sub-letting 18. Open a ‘pop up’ shop in spare office space 19. Close subsidised council canteens 20. Cancel away days in posh hotels and glitzy award ceremonies 21. Open a coffee shop in the library 22. Cut senior pay 23. Share senior staff 24. Scrapping the chief executive post entirely 25. Introduce a recruitment freeze 26. Freeze councillor allowances and end councillor pensions 27. Cut spending on consultants and agency staff 28. End expensive ’leadership’ courses 29. Cut spending on head hunters and expensive adverts 30. Review and reduce absenteeism 31. Scrap trade union posts 32. Charge for collecting trade union subscriptions 33. Stop spending money on commercial lobbyists 34. Stop translating documents into foreign languages 35. Reduce the number of publications and media monitoring 36. Earn more from private advertising 37. Cease funding ‘sock puppets’ and ‘fake charities’ 38. Scrap the town hall Pravda 39. Stop providing free food and drink for meetings 40. Reduce first class travel 41. Cut mileage payments 42. Video conference instead of travel 43. Help the voluntary sector save you money 44. Cut printing costs 45. End lifestyle and equality questionnaires 46. Sell services 47. Hire out the town hall 48. Lease works of art not on display 49. Save money on computer software 50. And finally… ask your staff for more sensible savings ideas To check out the reasoning read the document here: https://www.gov.uk/g overnment/uploads/sy stem/uploads/attachm ent_data/file/39264/ 50_ways_2.pdf I will post this on Bemont Voice as some people may wish to add comment on some of the suggestions above, especially as our council tax is going up 1.9% megilleland
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