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Your chance next week to discuss the cuts with council leader Jeremy Birch, second left, here hosting a visiting delegation from Dover District Council in May. (Photo: HBC)

Meet Jeremy and discuss the cuts

Hastings residents are invited along to two drop-in sessions in late October to meet council leader Jeremy Birch and discuss the coming round of cuts in council finances.

The council says it is looking at a shortfall of £2.5 million in its 2013-14 budget as the full impact of the government’s 50% reduction in its grant comes into force.

Last week it agreed the appointment of a new waste contractor under a contract which is expected to save the council some £6 million over 10 years.

A reduction in the senior staff team has saved £375,000 a year. Other measures include internal efficiency drives, cutting electricity and printing costs and concentrating staff in one main building.

But further substantial cuts are still to come. Support to the voluntary sector will be cut by 8.8% and the council says it will review the generous support given to charities and other organisations with their business rates.

“We have to look at every aspect of our activity and address how much can be allocated to those activities,” says Mr Birch. “What is clear, the council can’t continue to do all the things it currently does, but we want the input from the town before making final decisions.”

In line with the times, this will be a cut-price consultation. In a similar exercise two years ago, which it called the Big Conversation, the council wrote to every household. That was an expensive exercise, so in this year’s version, Another Conversation, it will cull people’s views through an online survey.

And if you want a face-to-face meeting with Jeremy Birch to ask questions or make a point, the drop-in sessions will be held in committee room 3 in the Town Hall on Tuesday 23 October, from 9 to 11am, and Wednesday 24 October, from 2 to 4pm.

 

Posted 09:40 Wednesday, Oct 17, 2012 In: 1067 & All That

Also in: 1067 & All That

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