Street lighting tops list of cuts

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STREET lighting and school admissions and transport are among the services Suffolk residents say should be cut.

They came at the top of a list of services Suffolk County Council should consider reducing ‘a great deal’ following the first phase of a public consultation on the authority’s budget.

Initial results show that out of 2,111 responses, 25.2 per cent named street lighting with 18.2 per cent citing school admissions and transport, 15.4 per cent for environmental initiatives plus 14.6 per cent each for access to early years education and economic development.

The services which people said should not be cut at all were fire and rescue, those for older people as well as those for people with mental health needs and physical and sensory disabilities plus support for children with special education needs and other pupil support.

Services voters said they were prepared to pay for were: School transport (which also appeared in the list of services they wanted cut), waste services, libraries, children’s centres and transport.

Those who took part in the consultation included 961 council employees.

Promotional activity was increased in West Suffolk to address ‘a smaller response’ to the consultation.

The figures were presented to the council’s scrutiny committee on Tuesday, when the the budget for the next financial year was discussed.

The authority must make £70 million in savings by 2015.

The second phase of the consultation will give people the chance to comment on specific proposals.

Councillors will agree the final budget on February 9.