TORBAY is facing an even greater cut in its budget than had been expected.
On top of the £22million reductions over two years, the Government has now told the council to make a further £3.8million cut in 2015/16 and to expect another £10million cut in 2016/17.
Over the four years of mayor Oliver's term next year, the council will have reduced its revenue spending budget by around £45million a year.
At a recent scrutiny meeting, mayor Oliver repeatedly emphasised councillors would never have chosen to make the original £22million cuts, but he said efforts from other local authorities to persuade the Government to reduce the cuts had failed, leaving areas like Torbay with no choice. Mayor Oliver said budget meetings will start in September with consultation as soon as the current budget is decided.
He said: "We are still looking at having to have a balanced budget by next February or March, but we cannot wait to work on the budget until this time next year."
He insisted: "I don't support the massive cuts because I think we are paying the price of the previous government's huge debt. While the civil service is facing a eight per cent cut the figure for councils is 32 per cent.
"I think the way forward is growth in the economy. That's what is going to lift people out of poverty not continued public subsidy in certain areas."