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Savage cuts to spending are being drawn up

(December 21, 2009)
SAVAGE cuts to many important local services could be in the offing from 2011 - the news has emerged after VisionforWarminster was given access to some sensitive documents.
These show that some senior local government number crunchers are working on the assumption that central government grant is expected to be cut by five per cent year on year for three years from 2011 - whichever party wins the next general election.
The onslaught on local government has been considered a probability as part of the national government's quest to reduce the huge budget deficit currently being run by the Labour government.
On top of this we understand that there is huge concern about additional commitments being given in the field of personal care for the elderly which will only be part-funded by central government.
The rest of the money will need to come from 'efficiency savings'.
On top of this there has been a significant reduction in income from planning application fees, less income from investments and in Wiltshire's case the fiasco of lending 12million pounds to Icelandic banks.
''When, in 1975, Tony Crossland MP told councils that the 'party's over for local government' he was only joking,'' said VFW's Steve Dancey.
''Since then, and especially since the Blair government was elected, a whole plethora of non-jobs has sprung up in local authorities and these could be lost without much pain. See photo
''But cutting the candy-floss will not balance the books and I suspect we will see cuts to OAPs' free transport, significant increases in car parking charges, closure of many of our sports centres and swimming pools, charging for library internet services and for larger refuse bins and a zero percentage wage settlement for local government staff after some bitter strikes.
''It isn't going to be pleasant but we should not lose sight of the fact that council tax will not be allowed to rise by more than about one per cent.
''I'm rather glad that I wasn't elected last June.''

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