We've cut all we can - frontline services will suffer, says Durham council leader

The Northern Echo: We've cut all we can - frontline services will suffer, says Durham council leader We've cut all we can - frontline services will suffer, says Durham council leader

FRONTLINE services would have to be cut if the North-East’s biggest council was forced to slash its budget again next year, its leader has warned.

Simon Henig, Durham County Council’s Labour leader, said by 2015 the authority will have saved all it can from efficiencies and restructuring and, if its Government grant continues to fall, frontline services would have to suffer.

“We’re trying to protect frontline services. But this is probably the last year we’re going to be able to do that.

“Once we’ve made these savings and restructuring, we’ll have then done all we can to protect and avoid going into frontline services,” he said.

Councillor Henig was speaking as the council announced plans to cut £23m from its spending in 2014-15, taking its total savings since 2010 to £155m, a total set to rise to £242m by 2017.

Much of this year’s savings are set to come from back-office and staffing cuts, including £5.7m from management, support, restructuring and rationalisation in children and adults’ services, £1.3m from efficiencies and restructuring in the neighbourhoods department and £826,000 from rationalising ICT services.

Other major cuts have already been announced, such as slashing home-to-school transport and reviewing council-run care homes.

However, Labour chiefs are poised to:

  • again protect payments to working-age council tax benefit claimants.
  • increase the winter roads budget by £1.3m
  • delay introducing charges for collecting garden waste until April 2015.

Coun Henig criticised the Government for hitting poorer, northern councils hardest, pointing to figures showing while Durham will lose 41 per cent of its crucial revenue support grant between 2013-14 and 2015-16, above the national and Association of North East Councils averages of 39.2 per cent and 41 per cent respectively, Surrey and Buckinghamshire will lose 27.9 per cent and 29 per cent.

He lobbied local government minister Brandon Lewis for more support for hard-up authorities during talks in London today (Tuesday, January 14).

The council’s opposition groups are expected to outline alternative proposals over coming weeks, before the 2014-15 budget is set in late February.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:50pm Tue 14 Jan 14

jonnybrussell says...

lets see Mr Henig publicise how much he and other senior council staff get paid and how much of a 'cut' they have taken.

People will be gob smacked at level of pay these people are getting while moaning about cuts and robbing people on low pay of jobs all for political gain.

I dont imagine many people will be happy at losing their jobs while more than a few people in D.C.C are earning 6 figures salaries.

The North East needs to wake up and say no more to council executives earning £200,000 - its an obscene wage for the north east especially when they are cutting low paid jobs to 'save money'.

Lets see these big wigs take some major cuts themselves and help keep the honest workers employed
lets see Mr Henig publicise how much he and other senior council staff get paid and how much of a 'cut' they have taken. People will be gob smacked at level of pay these people are getting while moaning about cuts and robbing people on low pay of jobs all for political gain. I dont imagine many people will be happy at losing their jobs while more than a few people in D.C.C are earning 6 figures salaries. The North East needs to wake up and say no more to council executives earning £200,000 - its an obscene wage for the north east especially when they are cutting low paid jobs to 'save money'. Lets see these big wigs take some major cuts themselves and help keep the honest workers employed jonnybrussell

6:15pm Tue 14 Jan 14

settheworldonfire says...

That will never happen...These hogs are too busy with their noses in the trough.....They need to cut the attitude of their workers, who if were working in a private company would be sacked for being lazy and skiving too much...
That will never happen...These hogs are too busy with their noses in the trough.....They need to cut the attitude of their workers, who if were working in a private company would be sacked for being lazy and skiving too much... settheworldonfire

6:45pm Tue 14 Jan 14

David Lacey says...

Northumberland County Council is going to close its HQ and sell off the land for housing. DCC need to do the same and save a fortune.
Northumberland County Council is going to close its HQ and sell off the land for housing. DCC need to do the same and save a fortune. David Lacey

7:13pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Mr M says...

This is just what the government wants to see. Blame being put on senior managers and councillors and diverted away from them. You could halve the salaries of the senior managers and still need to make £22 million pounds of cuts. Divide and conquer it's how the rich and powerful stay rich and powerful.
This is just what the government wants to see. Blame being put on senior managers and councillors and diverted away from them. You could halve the salaries of the senior managers and still need to make £22 million pounds of cuts. Divide and conquer it's how the rich and powerful stay rich and powerful. Mr M

8:43pm Tue 14 Jan 14

jonnybrussell says...

Well consider this.

the top 23 'heads' in DCC account for over £2,500,000 in wages EVERY year.

How a LABOUR council can justify paying that much to the 'elite' while sacking the poor is beyond me.

also looking at their expenses they should be clamping down on their mobile phone bills for a start - hundreds of thousands of pounds a month spent on vodafone - really?

regardless of the political party they are all in it form themselves - having council leaders earning six figures while pleading poverty is just sick
Well consider this. the top 23 'heads' in DCC account for over £2,500,000 in wages EVERY year. How a LABOUR council can justify paying that much to the 'elite' while sacking the poor is beyond me. also looking at their expenses they should be clamping down on their mobile phone bills for a start - hundreds of thousands of pounds a month spent on vodafone - really? regardless of the political party they are all in it form themselves - having council leaders earning six figures while pleading poverty is just sick jonnybrussell

10:32pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Longbowman666 says...

This from the council that spent a good sum of money on I-pads and new mobile phones, as well as a very good salary for its upper leadership - ah, but then I forgot, under Labour everyone is equal, so it all must just be a fantasy dreamed up by the other side...
This from the council that spent a good sum of money on I-pads and new mobile phones, as well as a very good salary for its upper leadership - ah, but then I forgot, under Labour everyone is equal, so it all must just be a fantasy dreamed up by the other side... Longbowman666

11:02pm Tue 14 Jan 14

spragger says...

They have not even started on the non jobs, senior team & chief exec.
Then there is the high salaries & unaffordable pensions.
Discretionary overtime, temporary workers & taxpayer funded union reps.

Then there is the Cllrs, too many & their expenses & allowances

We are being softened up for swingeing tax increases & paying directly for crap services
They have not even started on the non jobs, senior team & chief exec. Then there is the high salaries & unaffordable pensions. Discretionary overtime, temporary workers & taxpayer funded union reps. Then there is the Cllrs, too many & their expenses & allowances We are being softened up for swingeing tax increases & paying directly for crap services spragger

1:45pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Ally F says...

Is this the same Simon Henig who wants to head up a new regional super authority in the region? Just who is expected to pay for yet another collection of public sector snouts in the trough?
Is this the same Simon Henig who wants to head up a new regional super authority in the region? Just who is expected to pay for yet another collection of public sector snouts in the trough? Ally F

7:17am Wed 22 Jan 14

burnboy72 says...

The last time I checked front line services have already been cut. Day centres have closed, libraries have had their openining hours reduced, the council's warden service is about to be cut back as well as the imminent announcement about the possible closure of the authority's care homes.
The last time I checked front line services have already been cut. Day centres have closed, libraries have had their openining hours reduced, the council's warden service is about to be cut back as well as the imminent announcement about the possible closure of the authority's care homes. burnboy72

7:31pm Fri 31 Jan 14

roaduser98 says...

Mr M wrote:
This is just what the government wants to see. Blame being put on senior managers and councillors and diverted away from them. You could halve the salaries of the senior managers and still need to make £22 million pounds of cuts. Divide and conquer it's how the rich and powerful stay rich and powerful.
No, its not about blaming senior managers, it is the councillors who have gone overboard, spending money when there was plenty to go around. Well there is not enough around now to pay for all the Labour fantasies of spend spend spend. The henious tax (poll tax) is demanded even though they do not need it to cover the council running costs. (according to Lib Dems).
That idea of selling off county HQ for housing is an excellent idea and better use of the space. Definitely something Labour Cabinet members should be doing, if they are really serious about covering their exorbitant costs.
Do we really need these 'Highly Paid Executives and their deputies ?? NO!
Do we really need a new police HQ?? NO
Do we really need the town councils any more? NO!
It would appear that most local councils, if not all are not in control of local spending . It is the county council which decides who is a priority for any work required to be done. How can Labour justify paying a town clerk £50,000 per year?
Why not have a list of 'Front Line Services' which are under threat and let the people decide if they want to retain them at all costs.
[quote][p][bold]Mr M[/bold] wrote: This is just what the government wants to see. Blame being put on senior managers and councillors and diverted away from them. You could halve the salaries of the senior managers and still need to make £22 million pounds of cuts. Divide and conquer it's how the rich and powerful stay rich and powerful.[/p][/quote]No, its not about blaming senior managers, it is the councillors who have gone overboard, spending money when there was plenty to go around. Well there is not enough around now to pay for all the Labour fantasies of spend spend spend. The henious tax (poll tax) is demanded even though they do not need it to cover the council running costs. (according to Lib Dems). That idea of selling off county HQ for housing is an excellent idea and better use of the space. Definitely something Labour Cabinet members should be doing, if they are really serious about covering their exorbitant costs. Do we really need these 'Highly Paid Executives and their deputies ?? NO! Do we really need a new police HQ?? NO Do we really need the town councils any more? NO! It would appear that most local councils, if not all are not in control of local spending . It is the county council which decides who is a priority for any work required to be done. How can Labour justify paying a town clerk £50,000 per year? Why not have a list of 'Front Line Services' which are under threat and let the people decide if they want to retain them at all costs. roaduser98

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree