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£29 million savings plans to be debated by councillors

COUNCILLORS are today set to debate how Doncaster should deal with a £29 million cash black hole.

Doncaster Council is looking at how it can make savings totalling £118 million over the next five years.

Today sees the issue up for debate for the first time in the council chamber, as it goes hefore the all-party Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee this morning.

Labour dominate the committee, which will offer advice to English Democrat mayor Peter Davies.

Union leaders have already voiced concerns over the severity of cuts, with fears the cash shortage could have a knock-on effect in the town for years to come.

The council has confirmed it currently faces a funding gap of at least £29m in 2013/14 - and that balancing the books next year will be even harder because there are fewer options left following previous cuts.

Hundreds of council workers have already lost their jobs as Doncaster Council faces having to make savings of £118m between 2012 and 2017.

The £29m shortfall is a £12m increase on the authority’s previous estimate on the savings it would be forced to make following changes to government funding as well as changes to business rates and council tax.

Council officers are planning now for the £29m of savings in 2013/14 which will be discussed and evaluated over the coming weeks and will form part of Mayor Peter Davies’ budget proposals.

Talks will be held between senior council officials before a final budget is set in the spring.

In February last year the authority announced 350 redundancies and £30m of cuts with union bosses fearing a third of staff from the council’s 6,500 strong workforce could be axed to save cash.

 

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