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Weymouth and Portland face further budget pressures
10:41am Monday 21st January 2013 in Latest
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council say government funding cuts have piled more pressure on its bid to balance the budget.
The council will receive 14 per cent less cash from central government to pay for local services in 2013/14.
The full effect of the recent financial settlement from government is now known to be a reduction of £533,459 or 14.45% on the previous year.
Weymouth & Portland Borough Council finance and assets spokesman Peter Chapman said: “This is obviously extremely bad news and will make setting the 2013/14 budget even more difficult. Any room for manoeuvre that the council had over budget options has pretty much disappeared.
“We will also have to revise downwards the funding that we can expect to receive in future years which will increase the budget gap going forwards.”
The borough council has recently consulted businesses and residents on proposals to reduce non-essential services.
Measures under consideration included bulldozing the Pavilion and selling the council offices on North Quay and the Guildhall.
Original estimates were that the borough council needed to be spending at least £3.9 million less each year by 2019/20.
Mr Chapman added: “Like householders, the council has seen many of its costs, such as fuel and energy, rise far ahead of inflation. Income and the value of its investments has also fallen.
“In the past the borough council has been able to protect services through efficiencies and partnership working despite a 28 per cent cut to government funding over the past two years.”
The "shared services partnership" between West Dorset District Council and Weymouth & Portland Borough Council has saved £2 million a year. A joint workforce now delivers services for both councils.