Council says no redundancies for now but finance chief won't rule them out in future

By John Elworthy NO redundancies now at Fenland District Council but staff cut backs at some stage may be necessary to balance the books, says finance chief Rob Bridge. The corporate director and chief financial officer spells out the council s successes

By John Elworthy

NO redundancies now at Fenland District Council but staff cut backs at some stage may be necessary to balance the books, says finance chief Rob Bridge.

The corporate director and chief financial officer spells out the council's successes and short to medium term concerns in his Budget report published today.

Mr Bridge says "to achieve a balanced budget over the medium term will be a difficult and challenging task for the council.


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"It will be dependent upon the realisation of significant efficient savings in 2010/11 and future years."

Mr Bridge warns: "The achievement of further efficiencies in future years whilst maintaining excellent services will present considerable challenges.

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"Councillors may be aware of the actions being taken at most councils across the country to balance their budgets. Our strategy, to deliver our corporate priorities and not reduce or cut our excellent services, may require the council to consider the potential for redundancies in the future as a way of reducing costs."

He adds: "Wherever possible, should this become necessary officers will be making proposals to protect direct services to residents."

Mr Bridge will report to councillors on Thursday the proposals for Council Tax levels in the coming year and the council's programme of capital spending.

Band D Council Tax level for Fenland District Council will be set at �241.56, an increase of �6.84 per annum or 2.9 per cent.

Mr Bridge says this is in the wake of "unprecedented external pressures" which has affected the council both directly and indirectly.

Search fees, building control fees and planning fees are down, and there have also been reduced shipping levels at Wisbech Port and a drop in investment income interest.

The country may have "limped out of recession" but pressures remain in the short to medium term on the council's income streams.

However the council is moving ahead with "significant efficiency savings" which will help meet the challenges to come, he says.

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