Libraries and road maintenances budgets slashed in council cuts
February 26, 2013
Libraries and road maintenance are among the departments trimmed in savings for the latest budget.
This week’s proposal sets out 90 areas in which savings must be made.
More than £230,000 will be cut from spending on libraries over the next three years, but executive member for internal services Councillor Pauline Jorgensen doesn’t expect customers will notice any change to the service.
She said: “There are a few process improvements we are taking in terms of centralising the storage of books and generally a lot of tweaking around the edges to provide more efficiencies.
“It shouldn’t be hugely affecting customers at all.”
Highways maintenance, including work to fill in potholes, re-drawing lines and changing road surfaces, will be cut by £390,000 over the next three years.
Cllr Keith Baker, executive member for highways and planning, said: “We have a pot of money set aside for reactive maintenance. Last year it was around £1.7 million, £130,000 a year in that context is not large.”
The executive member explained it is possible to move funds from other highways budgets should the pot run out and added that such a measure has never been required in the past.
Overall, £16 million will be invested in the borough’s roads between now and 2016.
Cllr Baker added: “The problem in the highways area is we could easily consume the whole budget doing what residents would like us to do.”
He pledged not to increase town centre car parking charges this year.
In other savings, the council hopes to raise more than £330,000 over two years in revenues and benefits recovered by an investigations officer due to be hired this year.