Sheffield City Council has announced it is facing greater cuts from Government than originally anticipated.
The local authority had been prepared for making cuts worth £40m in 2013/14, but now expects to have a further £10m less to spend on services. The additional cuts are being put down to energy bills, rising prices and increasing demand for services.
Unions, though, say this could mean up 700 jobs are put at risk as the council looks to make savings.
– Cllr Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council
I am passionate about Sheffield and providing good value for money services to local people but the latest news that we will be hit even harder is a real body blow and without doubt savage and unfair.
Over the last two years the Council has made £141m of cuts to services as a result of the Government's austerity programme. That equates to around £280 for every resident in this city thanks to the reduction in grants to us as a council.
That places added strain on already stretched resources. So now we are working hard to focus on where we can possibly spend less.
Whilst we are unable to go into detail at the moment as we now need more time to find these savings and consider proposals to take to the public, we can be certain of one thing, things will have to change as we cannot afford to stand still.
I will not at this moment guarantee what that change will look like, what I can guarantee is that we will continue to protect services for those people who need it the most and work with businesses and our partners to make the most of opportunities to help the local economy grow and Sheffield continues to have its sights firmly set on the brightest future possible.
The Council has already cut costs saved £6m a year on IT by using an outside contractor, a further £1m could be reduced from directors' pay bill as part of a proposed restructure which is currently out to consultation with staff affected and saving £12m this year and a further £50m over the life of the of Streets Ahead scheme to improve and maintain the city's roads by reorganising how it is financed to save money.
– Cllr Bryan Lodge, Cabinet member for Finance and Resources
We are under no illusion that the months ahead and indeed years, are going to be the toughest we have faced in generations thanks to a double whammy of cut upon cut by the Government.
We will do all we can to reduce our spending in a fair way and minimise the impact, where we can, on our communities, However, at the moment, there is very little that we can rule in or out as we put the spotlight on our spending. It will be tough but we hope local communities will understand the position we are now put in and wherever possible work with us.
Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles