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Council may face a £13.5m spending cut

By This is Devon  |  Posted: October 06, 2010

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CUTS of £13.5million may be forced on Torbay Council next year in the wake of the forthcoming Government spending review, it is feared.

The council has already had to cut around £2.9million in revenue and capital spending from this year's budget.

The Government has outlined plans for public service funding cuts which could mean a 25 per cent cut over the next four years.

It is feared the council may have to make savings of 10 per cent (£13.5million) for 2011/12. At the same time there is also a commitment to freeze council tax next year.

No figures will be confirmed until after the Government spending review announcement on October 20.

Torbay Mayor Nick Bye described it as an "extremely difficult challenge" and encouraged residents to get involved.

He said: "All public services are facing hard choices on how to reduce costs and save money.

"We want to make sure Torbay's residents get the most efficient and effective local services, but we expect a big reduction from the Government in how much we can spend over the next few years. This means looking at all the services we provide and what things are most important.

"Over the coming months we want to hear the views of residents and the many organisations we work with across the Bay about the way we deliver services.

"The views, ideas and opinions of our residents matter because they pay for the services we provide. I want to share the dilemmas we face and the choices we will have to make.

"There is a real chance to have a go at balancing our books and find out more about how the council and its partners are meeting these extremely difficult challenges."

Members of the Torbay Strategic Partnership will be attending a series of 'Funding Challenge' meetings later in the autumn. This will allow partners such as the police and health service to discuss issues and plan once the outcomes of the spending review are known.

The council will also be using its consultation caravan events this autumn as a chance to talk to Torbay residents and gather their opinions.

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    R, TQ1  |  October 06 2010, 9:16PM

    Some years ago, I think it was 1998/99, Torbay Council got unitary status and took over from Devon County Council certain functions such as Education, Social Services Roads etc. Ever since then Torbay seems to have staggered from one disaster to another. Maybe those in power should realise the error of their ways and hand them back to Devon and we would all be better off. It's also interesting to note 2 other things. 1, When Exeter was trying to get unitary status Devon CC pointed out the mess that Torbay is in as a good reason for Exeter not to do it. and 2, I heard on radio four news that the Government has blocked Exeter's bid for unitary status.

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    Baggins, Torbay  |  October 06 2010, 1:06PM

    ... "We want to make sure Torbay's residents get the most efficient and effective local services" Judging by the Rock Walk overspend, the commissioned refuse collection's £3 million cost, the overpaid chief executive (has she had her 5% pay cut yet?) and costly inefficient commissioner system and forth from the bottom in local government satisfaction league I would suggest they certainly haven't cracked that one. In fact the question above should not even have to asked. Why have they not 'made sure' over the past four years. ...

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    Julian, Torquay  |  October 06 2010, 11:20AM

    Well, if the council didn't waste more than 3 million of the rock walk mess then they wouldn't have to make cuts!! And who pays for this........THE LOCALS AS ALWAYS!!!! Once Deaf and Blind Bye loses his job neck year and no-one elects Chris Lewis then that would save the locals millions...

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    glenys, brixham  |  October 06 2010, 10:43AM

    Well Mr. Nick Bye, the first cut is the hardest, and that is your job/position. Torbay does NOT need a MAYOR and you are totally dispensable together with your Salary and expenses. So we start right here shall we?