Damage limitation follows Yarmouth cuts

PUBLISHED: 15:15 18 June 2010 | UPDATED: 18:04 30 June 2010

A DAMAGE limitation exercise swung into action this week to ensure that Government cuts which mean Great Yarmouth is £310,000 worse off this year do not have a direct impact on local people.

A DAMAGE limitation exercise swung into action this week to ensure that Government cuts which mean Great Yarmouth is £310,000 worse off this year do not have a direct impact on local people.

Officials said they needed to take a long hard look at the figures to find more efficient ways of delivering services supported by the revenue grant allocations, instead of cutting back.

Among organisations affected are enterprisegy, Comeunity and the Working Neighbourhead Scheme, whose £4m support funding has been cut by almost 8pc.

Although frontline services like bin collections are not affected head of financial services Sebastian Duncan said that challenging times lay ahead.

“Our grant has reduced by £310,000. They have applied a formula and because we get a lot of additional grants we are more heavily hit than some other areas. What it means in practice is that we have been prudent and not committed that money. It does not mean that we are stopping doing anything. We knew there was potential because it had been flagged up for months.

“We have a number of projects for which we get a special area-based grant for and we are using that money to do extra work. It is money that would have been spent wisely and those organisations wont be able to do as much.”

The funding squeeze is part of a £1.2bn round of cuts in local government funding with Norwich City Council and Yarmouth borough council said to be among the hardest hit councils in the country.

Jo Butcher, programme manager for enterprisegy which helps new businesses get off the ground said the cuts were significant but not disabling, adding: “We have to work within our means. At the moment we are reviewing our budget to assess any impact. This is the first announcement before the Government budget, although I have forwarded partners I have advised them not to panic. It will add pressure and we will have to adjust accordingly.”

The government says the savings plan is the first step to tackle the £156bn deficit inherited from the previous government and ministers have given careful consideration to how savings can be found without affecting the quality of key frontline services.

The £29bn general grant, the main source of funding that local government receives every year, is not being reduced.

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