Transport to be hit in £25m Wiltshire Council budget cut
8:52am Thursday 13th February 2014 in By Craig Jones
Transport services are set to take a hit as part of proposals to cut Wiltshire Council’s budget by £25m in 2014/15.
The proposed budget, agreed by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday, will cut funding for bus services they deem to be inefficient, saving £176,000, bring family information services in-house, saving £120,000, and cut £39,000 worth of funding to the region’s Link bus services by withdrawing 5p per mile of support funding.
The budget will now be considered by councillors at the full council meeting taking place at County Hall, in Trowbridge, on Tuesday, February 25.
Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott said some tough decisions had to be made when preparing this year’s budget.
Coun Scott said: “This has not been a very easy budget but there were two things we wanted to ensure.
"The first was that we protected frontline services as much as possible and the second was that we wanted to keep the council tax down as we know people are struggling.”
The proposals will see Wiltshire Council’s element of the council tax frozen.
The budget will also see around £18m invested in improving some of their other services.
These include investing an extra £10m in highways schemes, an additional £3.6m in supporting older and vulnerable people, an extra £1.3m in health provision and giving staff a one per cent pay rise.
Before producing their budget, the council held a public consultation. Residents wanted to see further investment in being road maintenance, adult social care services and the provision of affordable housing.
Wiltshire Council’s budget for 2014/15 is £333m, which is £7.5m lower than last year.
The council’s Settlement Funding Allocation grant from central Government has been reduced by £12.8m to £63.2m this year.
Wiltshire councillor Dick Tonge, cabinet member for finance, said that these cutbacks have had a major bearing on this year’s proposed budget.
He said: “We have again had to face up to considerable challenges following reduced central government funding and the increased demands on council services, particularly for those who are most vulnerable in our communities.
“Our vision to create stronger communities remains at the heart of everything we do and this budget helps us to achieve that.”
To see the proposed budget in full visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk
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