Cabinet members to discuss proposals to change budget saving plan

​Date: 25/11/2014

Members of the Council are to discuss an updated plan for financial savings – as part of an overall goal to reduce £38 million from the budget in the next financial year.

Earlier in the year, the Council had planned to save £8 million by giving companies the opportunity to take over the lease for the district's crematoria and cemeteries.

But a report to members of the Cabinet, meeting on December 2, says this option is now being put on hold, as, at this current time, this would not deliver value for money.

Instead, councillors are being asked to consider an updated budget report, proposing £8 million of alternative savings, including reducing the opening the Council's contact centre, from 24 hours to 12 hours, to save £75,000; scrapping allowances for council workers working at home to save £50,000; and reducing print costs at the Council to save £100,000.

Other savings include savings of £200,000 on the cost of renting Queen's House as the lease is ending, and there is space for council staff to work elsewhere. The proposal is also to save £145,000, by transferring the management of school crossing provision from the Council to schools. The plan is also to save £2.5m in general staffing savings.

Cllr Peter Box, leader of Wakefield Council said: "We are facing tough choices and tough times ahead. The Council will have made £23 million of savings by March 2015 on top of the £58m of savings we've had to make in the last three years.

"In the next financial year the challenges will be even greater, as we will need to make the further savings of £38 million from our budget - the biggest yet in one year.

"This presents us with a significant challenge and we will need to make very difficult decisions about the future of our services.

"We will have less money but we are trying to spend it better by allocating our budget where it is most needed."