Tough Calls to be made over budget, warns Birch

Published on by Daniel King (author), Oli Birch (author)

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Hastings Borough Council leader, Jeremy Birch, has suggested that tough decisions will need to be made ahead of tomorrow’s budget proposal for 2015/16.


Financial settlements announced last month by central government have seen Hastings imposed with the maximum reduction of 6.4% in spending power, the highest cut in the South East.


Birch has questioned the logic behind the decision, claiming that Hastings have once again been dealt a rough hand.


“This means another year of significantly higher reductions for Hastings than for other councils. The 6.4% reduction for us is the highest in the south east yet we are the most deprived local authority in the region. The reductions are not evenly distributed.”


The council was last year forced into compulsory redundancies for the first time in over 30 years and faces the prospect of further cuts to jobs and public services to accommodate for the loss of funding.


And Birch has bemoaned the reductions, claiming Hastings borough council now faces difficulties plugging the hole in their budget.


“Hastings is on course for a cut of over 50% in cash terms from 2010 to the end of the coming financial year in 2016 in the grant we get from central government to provide services for local people. We’re going to face some very difficult decisions.”


Official proposals for the budget will be published tomorrow and will go through a  four week consultation period, before the full council makes its final decision on 25th February.


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