October 22, 2010
of pounds of council cuts set to hit Burnham-On-Sea area
of millions of pounds in cuts to council-run services have been
proposed by Somerset County Council just 24 hours after the Government's
spending review was announced.
Services from social care to education, and bus subsidies to
repairing roads look set to be cut back across the county - including
in the Burnham area - over the next three years as the County
Council acts on the Government's announcement.
The Government says its funding for the Council's services will
be reduced in real terms by more than a quarter over the next
"We have spent months looking at how we can be more efficient,
and where we can cut but also how we can protect frontline services
wherever possible," Somerset County Council Leader, Cllr
Ken Maddock, pictured below, told Burnham-On-Sea.com.
are things we really didnt want to cutback on, but we just
dont have a choice," he said.
"We already have a huge debt so borrowing more is not an
option each year we pay out £36m towards our debt."
Some of the high profile proposed cuts include roads maintenance
cut by £46m over three years; youth services, ten Police
Community Support Officers (PCSOs) and reducing the county ticket
bus subsidy for students.
Other areas proposed for reductions include bus subsidies on
key routes, school transport, arts funding, special education
needs, truancy officers, road safety initiatives, and closing
down eight out of 18 household recycling centres.
Consultations with the public will also take place in key areas,
including libraries and the public will be consulted about the
impact of significant cuts to the library service that could see
a number of closures, including Highbridge Library - as first
reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com earlier this month.
It will also include consultation with local communities and
agencies to either help operate or take over some libraries entirely.
"We have protected what we can and these are very painful
cuts for us to take, added Cllr Maddock. With the
government taking more than a quarter of our funding, doing nothing
just isnt a choice for us. Its not our doing, but
it is our responsibility."
than 700 staff could leave the council by April either through
voluntary or compulsory redundancies with a further 800 posts
expected to be lost over the next three years. Many of those remaining
face potential pay cuts, and less generous terms and conditions
to save the Council cash.
"We have reduced bureaucracy and red tape wherever we can
and protected our lowest paid staff as much as possible,"
said Cllr Maddock. "But lets be clear, these proposals
are not the end of the process but just the first round. There
will be further, and deeper, cuts announced over the coming weeks
The proposals will be debated by the Councils Cabinet meeting
on 1st November ahead of any final decisions which will be taken
by Full Council on 10th November. A further special council meeting
is being convened for 22nd December to take further decisions
as more proposed cuts are put forward.