Daventry District Council makes plans to cut even more from its budget

DDC is getting set to make yet more savings from its budget ahead of a predicted cut in the money it gets from central government.

On Thursday Daventry District Council will outline its budget proposals for the next financial year – 2013/14, including how it plans to tackle the latest round of funding cuts from central government.

Members of the council’s strategy group will meet on Thursday evening (November 22) to consider the authority’s medium-term financial plan.

The council is expecting a seven per cent reduction in its formula grant funding when the settlement for 2013/14 is announced next month.

It has already identified savings of £364,000 to help bridge the deficit for the next financial year.

The council says proposed measures include additional back office savings resulting from last year’s major restructure of the authority. Other savings will come from renegotiating contracts and supplies, and reducing office costs such as stationery, postage and printing.

The council is also due to receive new income from schemes including the redevelopment of industrial units at Long March, Daventry and by renting out office space at its premises at Lodge Road

Other initiatives, such as the joint crematorium with Rugby Borough Council and building new homes for private rent at Middlemore, are expected to result in additional income from 2014/15 onwards.

Ken Melling, resources portfolio holder at Daventry District Council, said: “Since the first signs of recession four years ago we’ve taken a prudent approach based on the worst-case scenarios to avoid knee-jerk reactions to our financial challenges.

“By planning ahead to make savings we’ve managed to minimise their impact on frontline services. Since last year’s restructure we are a much leaner organisation and many of the savings identified for 2013/14 are the result of new ways of working, redesigned services and the fruition of income generation schemes.

“Although we cannot predict the ever-changing national picture, our latest projections are now indicating a more encouraging outlook for the next three years with replenished reserves. However the financial challenges facing local government are far from over and with the very real likelihood of further funding reductions, we must continue to plan ahead. It will become increasingly difficult to identify savings in the future that will not affect our services.”

Members of DDC’s strategy group will consider the financial plan and budget proposals on Thursday, November 22 from 6.15pm. The proposals will then go to a meeting of full council on December 6.