Views Wanted On Southampton Council's £31m Savings

Southampton City Council's asking for feedback on its plans to try and save £31 million next year.

It could mean more than 100 job losses, a rise in council tax and five council-run libraries being handed over to community groups.

The proposals outline £9.7 million of efficiencies and service reductions which could help to close the shortfall, in addition to £8.1 million of savings already found in September, a one-off funding contribution of £9.9 million and a council tax rise of 1.99%.

The council's Cabinet gave the go-ahead for public consultation to begin at its monthly meeting on Tuesday (18 November), as it seeks to add to over £72 million of savings made since 2010 in response to substantial cuts to the funding it receives from Central Government.

Despite continuing to operate within a challenging financial climate, the council remains committed to protecting vulnerable residents and delivers hundreds of services to over 240,000 residents and stakeholders.

It is seeking to make ends meet by delivering services in more cost-effective ways, increasing income, renegotiating contracts, making savings on staff and procurement costs and reducing some services.

There is a continued focus on finding internal and external efficiencies throughout the year and the development of its Transformation programme which is expected to make an important contribution to savings by 2017.

Councillor Stephen Barnes-Andrews, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Resources and Leisure said:

"The ongoing cuts to the funding we receive from Central Government leave us with no choice but to find more savings, however we remain committed to protecting vulnerable people and the city's public services.

"We are working hard to generate income, find internal and external efficiencies throughout the year and transform the way that we work, but if there is anything that people think we could be doing differently this is their chance to speak up."

A presentation on the background of the 2015/16 draft budget and a set of information sheets outlining the proposals is available to read at www.southampton.gov.uk. Views on the draft budget proposals can be submitted by completing a budget survey by 21 January 2015.

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