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Day of reckoning for Kent County Council

Frontline services could face 'unpalatable' cuts next year, the leader of Kent County Council has warned.

The local authority says it needs to find more than £75m to balance its budget.

A six week consultation is being launched today.

A six week consultation on budget plans is launched today Credit: ITV Meridian

"KCC has done extraordinarily well in making public money go a lot further and our budget has decreased substantially over the last four years while the pressure for services has risen dramatically.

"The population is growing, there are more elderly people who need help and support and more young people with high educational needs than ever before.

"There are unprecedented pressures on our budget and yet we are spending less money."

– Paul Carter, Leader of KCC

Have your say on budget cuts at Kent County Council

Kent County Council needs to make cuts of more than a hundred million pounds so it's asking residents which services they want to keep.

It's part of an ongoing consultation to make savings next year.

Residents have just over a week to have their say on the plans.

Kent County Council needs to save more than £100m Credit: ITV Meridian

"So far we have identified further savings of £75 million for the next financial year and that is on top of savings of more than half a billion pounds over the last six years.

"It is really important to us that as many people as possible take part in our budget consultation and let us know what their priorities are when it comes to how we spend our limited finances.

"The government has placed an enormous challenge on us by imposing some of the biggest cuts compared to other parts of the public sector.

"We have done a lot of forward planning and facing the challenge early on we believe we are in a better position than most - but we would like to hear from you on whether you agree with our priorities.

"The decisions we make will affect everyone in Kent. That's why we want to engage with as many residents as possible."

– Cabinet Member for Finance and Procurement John Simmonds

Consultation on future of Wiltshire's bus services to end

A public consultation on plans to cut bus services in Wiltshire ends today.

The council has put forward six options, including cutting every subsidised service in the county, which would save around £5.1m.

The consultation on the future of bus services ends tonight Credit: ITV News

"We're giving options of what changes there could be - we could stop subsidising the evening services, we could stop subsidising weekend services or Sunday services.

"But what we want to find out is how people will be impacted - that's what need back so we can make better decisions."

– Cabinet member for transport, Conservative Philip Whitehead

Councillors to vote on budget cuts

Campaigners gather to protest over proposed budget cuts Credit: ITV Meridian

Councillors in West Berkshire will today vote on more proposed cuts having already approved £10m of savings for next year because its receiving less money from central Government.

Residents have demonstrated against the cuts. Funding for theatres and buses is threatened, and libraries face closure.

Schoolchildren have been protesting to save Theale library.

A local author best selling author who went to school in Theale Green, has joined their campaign.


190 jobs to go - £40m cuts needed in Southampton

Almost 200 jobs are to go - and some services will be merged as Southampton City Council, once again, struggles to balance its books. Today, council leaders confirmed the scale of the savings needed.

One hundred and ninety jobs will be axed this year, with 40 posts to go immediately. Council tax in the area will rise by almost two percent - for the fourth year running. There is a £12 million financial black hole, and the authority needs to save £40 million over the next four years. Juliette Fletcher reports.

The interviewees are Councillor Simon Letts, Leader of Southampton City Council, Labour; and Hayley Garner from the Unison trade union.

Man with brain damage says Headway charity has 'changed his life'

A man who suffered brain damage at birth is leading calls to save the charity which, he says, has changed his life.

Andy Baker goes to the rehabilitation centre at Headway Oxfordshire in Kennington once a week. Along with its own fundraising efforts the organisation receives money from the county council.

The local authority is due to discuss its budget next week. Mr Baker says if planned cuts go ahead the charity may not be able to continue all of its good work. Kate Bunkall reports.

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