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Bexley council cuts saved £7million so far as plans make 'positive progress'

PUBLISHED: 09:40 08 September 2011

Don Massey, chair of the Finance and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, says he is happy with the progress so far.

Don Massey, chair of the Finance and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, says he is happy with the progress so far.

Archant

Nearly £7million of cuts have already happened in Bexley as bosses prepare for a total £35.3 million over three years.

Council bosses are 19 per cent towards their cuts target for 2014 as 95 out of 300 cost-saving projects have been implemented so far.

Members the Finance and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which are due to meet next Tuesday (13), have asked officers to compile a detailed report on the cuts, to be ready for inspection next month.

This comes after councillors on the committee were told at a June meeting that £6,767,000 savings out of a planned £35,272,000 had been made.

Committee chair Don Massey said: “We wanted to see that progress towards various targets.

“So far, it is very positive. A lot has been achieved on the single persons council tax discount where the council contacted every single recipient to check they were still entitled to receive it. Procurement is another issue where considerable savings have been made.

“They are operating a traffic light system on targets and I don’t believe there is a single project that is on a red rating.

“I am quite happy at the progress.

“I expect that some people will be unhappy (with the cuts) when they are personally affected. Councillors are residents so we are directly affected too.

“But people voted us in to save money. We have been asked to control the council until 2014 and it is not being patronising to say that we have to do something about the financial situation.”

Councillors voted through the cuts in March, which include £15.3 million in the forthcoming financial year, £1.6 million in children’s services and £1.2 million in health and adult care. The council intends to save £15.3 million this financial year.

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