Cash reserves at Suffolk County Council rose by more than 30pc last year – as the authority cut its budget in an attempt to balance its books.

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The “useable” reserves held by the county increased from £78.4m to £102.9m – a rise of more than 31pc.

When schools’ funds, and other money to which the county has no direct access, are taken into account the reserves went up by £35m to £166m.

District and borough councils across the county have seen their reserves remain relatively stable – the overall reserves held by these councils in Suffolk went up from £114m to £116m between 2011 and 2012.

The county council is expecting to face more grant cuts over the next few years – between 2014-15 and 2017-18, it is expecting to lose about £70m.

With inflation and demographic pressures – especially an ageing population – the council fears it will need to bring in savings of up to £140m.

Jane Storey, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for finance, said: “As an organisation accountable for hundreds of millions of public money, Suffolk County Council has to manage its finances responsibly.

“Reserves are a part of that responsible management and are used to fund a number of specific large scale programmes as well as provide security in the event of a major incident which the council has to respond to.

“The important thing to remember about reserves is that they are a one off amount of money and once spent, can only be replaced from other sources of funding or reductions in spending.”

4 comments

  • I expect they'll soon get through it by splashing out on some more offices (including those planned in Lowestoft) and, of course, times are hard, so they'll likely want some more Councillors' allowance money to pay them for their civic responsibility.

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    T Doff

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • Is it possible that this considerable reserve might adversely affect the level of grant in future years? In the days of the USSR's centrally planned economy, factories were careful not to exceed their annual production target since it would be increased the following year if they did so. Or is a larger grant made to councils who are perceived to have made greater 'savings'?

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    point du jour

    Tuesday, January 8, 2013

  • So SCC are sitting on £109 million of our Council Taxes...and as the Council Tax is being kept at the same level, there'll be even more being tucked away...I demand a refund!

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    Dogberry

    Monday, January 7, 2013

  • You forget T Doff. ...And get more money from the council tax payers to keep the extortion money pot topped up.

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    "V"

    Monday, January 7, 2013

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