In December of last year the Government announced the upcoming funding cuts for local councils in England. Torbay will face a funding cut of 2.3%.
However, cuts to council funding are taking place up and down the country, in both rural and urban areas. When considered alongside the rest of the country’s councils, some of which have seen cuts of 8.8%, Torbay has certainly been spared the worst.
For the year 2014-2015 Torbay Council will have the equivalent of £2064 per household to be spent on services, compared to £2012 for identical all-purpose unitary authorities.
Other measures are being introduced alongside the funding reductions to help soften the blow, such as the Business Rate Retention being brought in during 2013-14, aimed at rewarding local councils that encourage local growth and jobs.
Fortunately, successful lobbying of the Government by local MPs has ensured Torbay shouldn’t have to face the dramatic cuts many other Councils are having to grapple with.
Nevertheless difficult budgetary decisions still need to be taken and funding priorities have to be decided between what our elected Mayor has proposed – drastic cuts to the crucial budget for vulnerable persons, hurting the homeless, disabled, children and pensioners – or, for example, cutting subsidies to the Riviera Centre, grants to beauty contests and the number of mayoral press officers.