THURROCK Council’s proposed budget for the next financial year (2012/13) was announced at Wednesday (26 October) evening’s special meeting of the cabinet.
Proposing that the detailed budget should be put before overview and scrutiny committees and a public consultation – launching on Monday 31 October – Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, said: “I would like to congratulate and offer my thanks all the officers and members who worked so hard to bring this together.
“They started work immediately after this year’s budget was agreed and that is why we have been able to come here tonight, in October, with what should provide us with a balanced budget in 2012-13.”
He said: Although this budget includes some major reductions in funding it also includes some important growth areas, yet I believe any impact it will have on front-line services will be minimal if any.
“That’s not to say there are not some difficult decisions here. The savings include changes to the senior management team, the top level of officers, as well as to other management tiers within the council.
“We are changing the way we work in an effort to maintain our core services, and many of our non-statutory ones too, reducing backroom support which has developed and duplicated over the years, so that we can make these major savings.
“In all, these proposals involve taking around £7 million out of our budget – to be able to do that without overly affecting the front-line not only highlights our determination to keep services as effective and efficient as possible, but also the amount of work that has gone into this.”
Cllr Kent then called on his cabinet colleagues and senior officers to start work on the 2013/14 budget now “so we will have even more time to check things over next year”.
He concluded: “I would like to emphasise that this is not set in stone. We will listen to overview and scrutiny and we will listen to what people say in the public consultation.”