Suffolk County Council budget details revealed

Suffolk is set to freeze its element of council tax bills again next year, the authority has confirmed.

In papers published ahead of the next cabinet meeting it is also revealed that the number of people employed directly by the county will be slashed by more than 3,000 over the next 12 months.

Members will be looking at the proposed budget for 2012/13 when they meet on January 24.

The county is looking to make savings of �26 million over the next financial year – the first stage of a two-year programme of savings which will result in more than �50million in cuts - but as county council leader Mark Bee said last year they are determined to come up with a budget that would allows them to freeze council tax bills for another year.

The budget proposals include:


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�Improving efficiency and removing processes (including a 1.5% efficiency saving across all departments) - �12m

�Savings in adult care from more investment in prevention - �8m

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�Delivering savings agreed in previous years - �1.8m

�Reducing management costs across the organisation - �1.5m

�Reducing office space used - �0.7m.

The proposed 2012/13 budget includes capital investment of �115m in major projects to benefit Suffolk including reorganising schools to improve attainment, delivering better broadband for Suffolk and continued investment in the county's road network.

The county insists that most of the savings will be achieved by cutting bureaucracy.

Mr Bee said: 'I've made it very clear that what I want to see from this process is the creation of a budget that saves money on back office, protects, as much as possible, frontline services and keeps council tax down.

'I'm pleased that despite the financial circumstances we are facing, the proposals that have been drawn up meet these expectations whilst at the same time make it possible to invest some of our capital budget in major projects.

'The financial challenges we are facing in Suffolk are significant, but I'm determined that we must find a way to meet them while protecting the services we all value. I will continue to challenge the council to do everything it can to deliver the best for people in Suffolk.'

In the 12 months from March this year, the number of people directly employed by the county is set to fall from 7,996 to 4,817.

However the council has stressed that does not mean wholesale job losses most of those jobs will be transferred to new or existing organisations set up to provide services on behalf of the council.

The number includes library staff who will be transferred to the new Industrial and Provident Society (IPS) which is being set up to run the county's network of libraries.

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