Have a say on big cuts

Melton Council leader Byron Rhodes is urging people of the borough, and other interested parties, to take part in the draft Local Plan consultation EMN-161221-134311001

Melton Council leader Byron Rhodes is urging people of the borough, and other interested parties, to take part in the draft Local Plan consultation EMN-161221-134311001

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Have your say

Melton people are being urged to have their say on proposals which will see services axed and amended to help County Hall make savings of £68 million over the next four years.

Leicestershire County Council is consulting residents until January 10 on its plans, which are needed to make the authority viable.

The council says it faces ‘significant challenges’ and has to take action because of reduced government funding, rising costs and demand for care services.

It has identified savings of £44 million but needs to cut another £24 million from its budget up to 2021.

If its proposals are approved following the consultation, 400 jobs are likely to be lost and the authority’s share of the Council Tax will rise by 3.9 per cent over the next three years.

Deputy leader, Councillor Byron Rhodes, said: “We’ve saved £161 million since austerity started but we need to save a further £68 million.

“We appreciate that austerity is being extended for all councils but our problems are more acute, as we’re the lowest funded county council.

“A lot of pressure could be eased by fair funding and that’s why I’ve been working with MPs to convince the government to reform the current, unfair formula.”

Among the proposed savings are £4.3 million from children’s social care placements, by using more foster care, £1.3 million by introducing smart ‘self-access’ libraries and a central museums collections hub, plus £400,000 from a review of how recycling and household waste sites are run.

Ideas for finding the shortfall £24 million include changes to the support for disabled people and a review of the social care and special education needs transport budget.

To contribute to the consultation go online at www.leicestershire.gov.uk/have-your-say/current-consultations/four-year-spending-plans or telephone 0116 232 3232.