Councils face bigger cuts after Government grant settlements

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

FURTHER cuts to council services in Oxfordshire are likely after unexpectedly deep cuts in Government funding.

Ministers have changed the way they allocate money to local authorities, in a bid to make the system fairer.

The new system, referred to as “spending power”, not only includes grant settlements but also takes into account other income, including council tax.

But several of Oxfordshire’s councils say the system, announced by Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles this week, takes more money from their allocations than forecast.

Oxford City Council said it would be hit particularly hard, and would have to go back to the drawing board with its budget plans for 2013-14.

Ed Turner, the council’s deputy leader and executive member for finance, said the council faced a 7.4 per cent cut in its Government.

He said the council would have to find about £600,000 in extra savings in 2013-14.

He added: “We thought that they had done most of the chopping but clearly they have come back with more. This is devastating news.

“The fact Oxford City Council has been singled out for the biggest cut in the county is extraordinarily depressing and is going to make it much harder for us to achieve our budget.”

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He said the council would try its “darndest” to avoid compulsory redundancies.

Oxfordshire County Council is also facing a bigger cut than expected, losing about eight per cent of its Government grant.

Council leader Ian Hudspeth said officers still had to determine the exact amount it would lose. Asked if he could still guarantee services and jobs, he said: “We will be looking at what impact the spending review has on funding overall and then making our decisions through the budget process.

“We always try to maintain the services that are frontline, popular or people really appreciate and make savings in back offices, but if you keep reducing the back office there could be potential impact on the front office.”

The four other district councils said their funding settlements were not as bad as they feared, and two will benefit from the Government’s new system.

Cherwell’s executive lead member for finance Ken Atack said Government funding had been cut by five or six per cent, but officers had modelled for a cut of more than 10 per cent.

He said: “This is quite a modest reduction from the modelling and we’re conformable with it, but next year’s settlement could be high – a 12 or 14 per cent reduction – and that will be a challenge.”

Vale of White Horse District Council could not say last night how much its grant had been cut by. Leader Matthew Barber said: “We had taken a reasonably cautious approach over previous years and going forward we are reasonably content with the settlement, although we would always like more.”

Once all factors are taken into consideration, South Oxfordshire District Council will see a nominal increase of £6,000.

West Oxfordshire District Council was also unable to confirm its funding situation last night but overall, its income from Government is set to rise by 2.8 per cent, or by £255,000, from £9.062m to £9.316m.

Comments (14)

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11:19am Fri 21 Dec 12

Isawyoucoming says...

wodc get a 2.8 per cent rise, remind me where does davyboy reside?
wodc get a 2.8 per cent rise, remind me where does davyboy reside? Isawyoucoming
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Bartsimpson_uk says...

Typical Tory toffs, always telling lies. The sooner we get The Bullingdon bullies out of office the better.
Typical Tory toffs, always telling lies. The sooner we get The Bullingdon bullies out of office the better. Bartsimpson_uk
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Fri 21 Dec 12

oafie says...

Well perhaps Oxon County Council, Oxford City Council and SODC could all look at how much they spend providing public toilets in areas of the county which are used by the same band of men, and which are well known public sex environments.

This is 2012 when public monies and public resources are scarce. Are these councils so blinkered that they continue pouring money into maintaining and cleaning these public sex environments which they know are rarely used for the purpose they are intended.
Well perhaps Oxon County Council, Oxford City Council and SODC could all look at how much they spend providing public toilets in areas of the county which are used by the same band of men, and which are well known public sex environments. This is 2012 when public monies and public resources are scarce. Are these councils so blinkered that they continue pouring money into maintaining and cleaning these public sex environments which they know are rarely used for the purpose they are intended. oafie
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

£600,000

That's 23 days income from the Westgate car park - when operating at capacity.
£600,000 That's 23 days income from the Westgate car park - when operating at capacity. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

1:52pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Honcho oxon says...

Cherwell - don't play these games. wow it's not 10% joy! it's only 5.4% phew. Remember you are public servants delivering a public service, any cut is bad news. Again this will hit the disadvantaged and poor of the district who rely on our public services and provide the wealth for the few and bail out their excesses.Tory government tory council what the hell have you got to be pleased about?
Cherwell - don't play these games. wow it's not 10% joy! it's only 5.4% phew. Remember you are public servants delivering a public service, any cut is bad news. Again this will hit the disadvantaged and poor of the district who rely on our public services and provide the wealth for the few and bail out their excesses.Tory government tory council what the hell have you got to be pleased about? Honcho oxon
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

oafie wrote:
Well perhaps Oxon County Council, Oxford City Council and SODC could all look at how much they spend providing public toilets in areas of the county which are used by the same band of men, and which are well known public sex environments.

This is 2012 when public monies and public resources are scarce. Are these councils so blinkered that they continue pouring money into maintaining and cleaning these public sex environments which they know are rarely used for the purpose they are intended.
Perhaps you should pester your local councillor with your findings? Probably not a good idea to spend too much time monitoring though, people might think you are waiting...

It is odd that so much money is being spent attempting to close down a legitimate and licensed establishment & employer in the heart of Oxford - when there is, as you have identified, so much unlicensed activities going on in state owned premises in the suburbs.
[quote][p][bold]oafie[/bold] wrote: Well perhaps Oxon County Council, Oxford City Council and SODC could all look at how much they spend providing public toilets in areas of the county which are used by the same band of men, and which are well known public sex environments. This is 2012 when public monies and public resources are scarce. Are these councils so blinkered that they continue pouring money into maintaining and cleaning these public sex environments which they know are rarely used for the purpose they are intended.[/p][/quote]Perhaps you should pester your local councillor with your findings? Probably not a good idea to spend too much time monitoring though, people might think you are waiting... It is odd that so much money is being spent attempting to close down a legitimate and licensed establishment & employer in the heart of Oxford - when there is, as you have identified, so much unlicensed activities going on in state owned premises in the suburbs. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 0

6:10pm Fri 21 Dec 12

Nick Mawer says...

Honcho - you don't have a clue do you?
1) if the last Labour Government hadn't been so profligate with our money, then we wouldn't be talking about cuts because we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now
2) Why must any cut be bad news? Sadly there has been a lot of waste in local government, and a lot of inflated salaries. I don't yet see anyone who lives in Cherwell complaining about a service being cut yet? Why because Cherwell has sought imaginative ways of cutting its spending such as the shared officer corps with South Northamptonshire Council which has slashed the wages bill and protected front line posts. Perhaps Oxford City Council could take a leaf out of the other districts books.
Honcho - you don't have a clue do you? 1) if the last Labour Government hadn't been so profligate with our money, then we wouldn't be talking about cuts because we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now 2) Why must any cut be bad news? Sadly there has been a lot of waste in local government, and a lot of inflated salaries. I don't yet see anyone who lives in Cherwell complaining about a service being cut yet? Why because Cherwell has sought imaginative ways of cutting its spending such as the shared officer corps with South Northamptonshire Council which has slashed the wages bill and protected front line posts. Perhaps Oxford City Council could take a leaf out of the other districts books. Nick Mawer
  • Score: 0

8:32am Sat 22 Dec 12

andyq7 says...

Isawyoucoming says...
11:19am Fri 21 Dec 12
wodc get a 2.8 per cent rise, remind me where does davyboy reside?

100% behind you on that mate.
Isawyoucoming says... 11:19am Fri 21 Dec 12 wodc get a 2.8 per cent rise, remind me where does davyboy reside? 100% behind you on that mate. andyq7
  • Score: 0

3:12pm Sat 22 Dec 12

riman09 says...

This government lies through and through. What is worse is that, they release such bad news just before the holidays, so they are not held to account by the time they return for business in parliament.

I must say, Dave and his lot competes with the worst of the Third World governments I know which do as they please.
This government lies through and through. What is worse is that, they release such bad news just before the holidays, so they are not held to account by the time they return for business in parliament. I must say, Dave and his lot competes with the worst of the Third World governments I know which do as they please. riman09
  • Score: 0

12:58pm Sun 23 Dec 12

xjohnx says...

If we don't have cuts, just where will the money come from?

I remember the outgoing labour chanceller left a note behind which said "Ha Ha! Wev'e spent all the money.

So the socialist are hardly entitled to a say in the matter.
If we don't have cuts, just where will the money come from? I remember the outgoing labour chanceller left a note behind which said "Ha Ha! Wev'e spent all the money. So the socialist are hardly entitled to a say in the matter. xjohnx
  • Score: 0

6:32pm Sun 23 Dec 12

carfax cabby ox1 says...

xjohnx wrote:
If we don't have cuts, just where will the money come from?

I remember the outgoing labour chanceller left a note behind which said "Ha Ha! Wev'e spent all the money.

So the socialist are hardly entitled to a say in the matter.
I don't think that those little bankers that took £billions were socialists, Labour had no choice but to bail them out, but should have had the balls to sack the lot of them and take over themselves. But this story is about The City, S Oxon, C/Well, and The Vale suffering massive Tory Cuts, but Dave's backyard getting a massive increase, strange that.
[quote][p][bold]xjohnx[/bold] wrote: If we don't have cuts, just where will the money come from? I remember the outgoing labour chanceller left a note behind which said "Ha Ha! Wev'e spent all the money. So the socialist are hardly entitled to a say in the matter.[/p][/quote]I don't think that those little bankers that took £billions were socialists, Labour had no choice but to bail them out, but should have had the balls to sack the lot of them and take over themselves. But this story is about The City, S Oxon, C/Well, and The Vale suffering massive Tory Cuts, but Dave's backyard getting a massive increase, strange that. carfax cabby ox1
  • Score: 0

8:47am Wed 26 Dec 12

Lord Palmerstone says...

Brown borrowed to buy votes. It succeeded. The vile socialist crew had 13 years to fill our counntry with immigrants and create a massive new cohort of scroungers.Brown encouraged wage slaves to over-borrow because it disguised how much he was ripping them off to pay for welfarism. All the public school educated socialist are indeed a vile bunch of toffs, but if a small rationalisation can stop Oxfordshire covering the whole county with speed limit signs, unnecessary traffic lights and all the other paraphernalia of the controlling "safety" single issue fanatics, it would be a small mercy.
Brown borrowed to buy votes. It succeeded. The vile socialist crew had 13 years to fill our counntry with immigrants and create a massive new cohort of scroungers.Brown encouraged wage slaves to over-borrow because it disguised how much he was ripping them off to pay for welfarism. All the public school educated socialist are indeed a vile bunch of toffs, but if a small rationalisation can stop Oxfordshire covering the whole county with speed limit signs, unnecessary traffic lights and all the other paraphernalia of the controlling "safety" single issue fanatics, it would be a small mercy. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

10:06am Wed 26 Dec 12

andyq7 says...

Isawyoucoming wrote:
wodc get a 2.8 per cent rise, remind me where does davyboy reside?
Wonder if Davyboy is on a horse with the Heythrop hunt today?
[quote][p][bold]Isawyoucoming[/bold] wrote: wodc get a 2.8 per cent rise, remind me where does davyboy reside?[/p][/quote]Wonder if Davyboy is on a horse with the Heythrop hunt today? andyq7
  • Score: 0

7:26pm Thu 27 Dec 12

DoctorBob says...

Nick Mawer wrote:
Honcho - you don't have a clue do you?
1) if the last Labour Government hadn't been so profligate with our money, then we wouldn't be talking about cuts because we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now
2) Why must any cut be bad news? Sadly there has been a lot of waste in local government, and a lot of inflated salaries. I don't yet see anyone who lives in Cherwell complaining about a service being cut yet? Why because Cherwell has sought imaginative ways of cutting its spending such as the shared officer corps with South Northamptonshire Council which has slashed the wages bill and protected front line posts. Perhaps Oxford City Council could take a leaf out of the other districts books.
Talking of clueless.

1) Just before the banking bailout in 2008 the deficit was less than it was when Labour took it on from the Tories in 1997.

2) If Labour hadn't bailed out the banks we really would have been in the proverbial. We were only a matter of hours away from the cash points stopping dispensing cash.

3) Sadly those that talk of ' a lot of waste in Local Government' just trot it out off the top of their heads. Show us the proof then you can be taken seriously.

4) Can you name these "lot of inflated salaries" and the amounts?

5) I don't like ending on an even number.
[quote][p][bold]Nick Mawer[/bold] wrote: Honcho - you don't have a clue do you? 1) if the last Labour Government hadn't been so profligate with our money, then we wouldn't be talking about cuts because we wouldn't be in the mess we are in now 2) Why must any cut be bad news? Sadly there has been a lot of waste in local government, and a lot of inflated salaries. I don't yet see anyone who lives in Cherwell complaining about a service being cut yet? Why because Cherwell has sought imaginative ways of cutting its spending such as the shared officer corps with South Northamptonshire Council which has slashed the wages bill and protected front line posts. Perhaps Oxford City Council could take a leaf out of the other districts books.[/p][/quote]Talking of clueless. 1) Just before the banking bailout in 2008 the deficit was less than it was when Labour took it on from the Tories in 1997. 2) If Labour hadn't bailed out the banks we really would have been in the proverbial. We were only a matter of hours away from the cash points stopping dispensing cash. 3) Sadly those that talk of ' a lot of waste in Local Government' just trot it out off the top of their heads. Show us the proof then you can be taken seriously. 4) Can you name these "lot of inflated salaries" and the amounts? 5) I don't like ending on an even number. DoctorBob
  • Score: 0

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