Council spending cuts save £20 million

Coun Stephen Parnaby OBE at Bridlington Harbour.
Coun Stephen Parnaby OBE at Bridlington Harbour.

THE leader of East Riding of Yorkshire Council has announced a record £20 million in savings for 2010/11 - which will allow the council to keep up its spending on roads and schools.

The Government’s grant settlement announced last year left the East Riding needing to cut its budget by around £30 million over a four year period.

Figures as at March 31 reveal that the council took £9.5 million out of its budget during the financial year 2010/11, while “one-off savings” of £12 million were achieved during the same period, making total savings of more than £20 million.

The authority says it has managed to carry out the public spending squeeze without front line services being affected, while staff redundancies made by the council fell well below projections for 2010/2011.

A spokesman confirmed that while the council planned that as many as 135 posts could go in the last financial year, only 34 members of staff were made redundant across the county.

The spokesman said the council estimated that up to 145 posts could go at the authority between 2011 and 2013, but the actual number may end up significantly less if further savings can be found.

A report on the council’s budget position went before the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Cabinet on Tuesday, and leader of the authority, Stephen Parnaby, said: “This is an excellent outcome.

“We are achieving the reductions while still protecting the vital services on which communities throughout the East Riding depend.”

The council confirmed that because of the savings made, around £100 million of capital investment will be spent this year, with a further £200 million earmarked for investment over the next four years.

Councillor Parnaby continued: “As well as the massive improvements that schemes will bring, our better than anticipated capital programme is also good news for local jobs and the construction industry at a very difficult time.”

The council said that it’s savings included “substantial reductions” in senior management costs which have saved £840,000, compared with £500,000 the year before, achieved by sharing roles in the council and not filling vacant posts.

Plans are also being finalised with the Homes and Communities Agency to secure funding to help build a new phase of affordable homes between 2012 and 2015, which may see further development in, or near to, Bridlington.