Few surprises in Suffolk as provisional Government funding for councils revealed

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There were few surprises in the amount Government handed to county and district councils in Suffolk this week.

The Department for Communities and Local Government announced a 2.9 per cent cut in funding for 2014/15.

In provisional settlements, Suffolk County Council saw its revenue support grant fall from £135 million last year to £116 million. In 2015/16 that will fall to £85.97 million.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s dropped from £3.37 million to £2.59 million representing a 23 per cent reduction.

Its grant the following year will be £1.79 million.

Forest Heath District Council’s stood at 2.01 million and Mid Suffolk was £2.37 million for 2014/15..

The county’s eight authorities have been expecting reductions of upto 49 per cent from 2014 to 16.

The county council needs to make £156 million in savings over the next four years and is consulting extensively on where cuts should be made.

The authority has identified £38.5 million in savings for the coming year.

Cllr Colin Noble, cabinet member for finance and property at the county council, said: “This is broadly in line with the government funding we were expecting and therefore means that we can continue with our saving plans for next year.”

Cllr David Ray, cabinet member for resources and performance for St Edmundsbury, said sharing services with Forest Heath has saved £3.5 million year on year.

He said the authority now had to look at other initiatives including ‘how the council can be more commercial and how the council can further encourage economic growth’.