Cull of assemblies

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SHEFFIELD Council has pledged to continue internal efficiency savings at the same time as making huge cuts.

The biggest saving for the coming year involves axing the seven community assemblies, which each cover between three and four wards and meet every month.

The council says councillors will be encouraged to raise issues from their wards with the main council.

Discretionary budgets will be absorbed back into main council funds.

The community assemblies, which used to be known as area panels, were championed by the old Lib Dem regime to encourage localised decision-making - but have poor public attendance.

Meanwhile, councillors are to have their allowances frozen for another year despite them being lower than at many other councils.

Senior management posts have been cut to save £1 million over the next 12 months, and council staff are to receive a one per cent pay rise, in line with a national settlement for local government workers.