Council reveals details of £8m cuts

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A FURTHER South Yorkshire council has revealed details of spending cuts over the coming year - with £8 million of savings to be made.

Despite the cut for the forthcoming 2012/13 financial year, Barnsley Council has pledged to ‘protect the most vulnerable residents’ and council tax will be frozen.

The savings are being made on top of a £20m reduction in the council’s budget for the current financial year.

Coun Alan Gardiner, Barnsley Council cabinet spokesperson for corporate services, delivered his budget speech to a meeting of the full council ‘with little pleasure or good news for the forthcoming year’.

He said 45 staff are at risk of redundancy over the coming month, against an initial prediction of 68.

Coun Gardiner added: “As the future for Barnsley and local government as a whole looks extremely difficult, the decisions taken today underpin ongoing work to shape the council for the future.

“The council of the future will look very different to that of today, but as ever we need to remain focused on delivering for our communities.”

The announcement follows Rotherham Council revealing £9m of savings will be made over the coming year.

Coun Gardiner announced the successful Mi Card bus travel pass for under-18s will be retained, at a reduced level, for at least one more year, while council tax will be frozen and a council tax discount scheme for over 65s will also continue.

But increases in the police and fire authority precepts of 3.95 per cent will result in overall council tax bills for Barnsley residents increasing by an average of 0.5 per cent.