£25 million council budget cuts approved

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Leading county councillors have approved £25 million in budget cuts - with a further £150 million expected over the next four years.

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet rubber-stamped the 2013-14 budget, which includes £9.7 million in ‘efficiency and cutting bureaucracy’ and £7 million by intervening earlier in adult care. There will also be a freeze in the authority’s share of council tax.

However, bosses warned that upto £148 million in savings need to be made by 2017-18 due to grant cuts and cost increases, which will ‘undoubtedly impact on the level of commissioned services’.

Following the cabinet meeting, Cllr Jane Storey, cabinet member for finance, said: “It’s going to require some extremely tough financial management. We may well have to reduce some of the services we provide but that will be the last resort. We have to look at doing things differently so they will be cheaper for us to run.”

As an example she pointed to a focus on more ‘preventative’ social care.

n The cabinet also approved the introduction of a new travel card for young people, which would give a minimum discount of 25 per cent off a standard single bus fare.