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22 June 2010, 17:22
Wiltshire Council have this afternoon said they're in a good position after the budget has been announced. It's mainly after they became a unitary authority – merging five councils into one.
The council has saved over £14million as a result of moving to one council, which places Wiltshire Council in a stronger position than many other local authorities. It is estimating that over the next five years over £30million could be saved through further efficiencies and more than £85million will be saved as a result of reducing the council’s number of office buildings from 96 to four.
Despite the council pre-empting and planning for the cuts, it will have to manage the reduction in funding from central government and minimise the impact on local services this year and in future years. The council has to reduce its budget this year by more than £4.1million. The government has put forward cuts in a number of areas including area based grants and capital programmes including transport infrastructure.
Council Leader Jane Scott said: “We anticipated the cuts announced today and have planned to minimise the impact through careful financial planning and maximising on the efficiencies we can make as a new unitary council.
"It is vital we retain the trust and relationships that we have with our local communities and I welcome the government’s support in helping us to achieve a zero increase in council tax. I hope the government will allow us the flexibility to manage our budget and not be constrained by ring fences or restrictions as our priority is to maintain and protect our front line services”.