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Council needs to save £77m from 2013-2017 with £13m being reinvested

Published 21 December 2012

Oxfordshire County Council believes it will have to save up to £77m from 2013 to 2017 while already being on course to have saved £92m during the course of the 2011/12 and 2012/13 financial years.

The council had always planned to save a further £27m of savings up to 2015, making £119m in the years 2011-2015. The increase in that sum and the extension of the savings period up to 2017 follows the Government’s recent announcement of how much each individual council in England will receive in finance over coming years.

The council has calculated that it has received an 11 per cent reduction in grant from central Government.

Of the extra £50m, a total of around £13m will be reinvested to fund emerging priorities and financial pressures across all of its services. This will mean money will need to be saved initially before it can then be reinvested into those priorities.

Not the final picture

The situation is likely to change further as more details come in from central Government between now and when the council sets its budget in February. No decisions have been taken on how the cuts will be divided up between each of the four financial years in question.

How will savings be made?

The council will set its budget in February 2013 and the savings that will need to be made over the next four years will be set out in the New Year.

The Government is conducting a spending review across all of its departments in 2013/14 and this may lead to more changes in the council’s medium to long term planning from 2014/15 onwards.

As has previously been the case, the council will be giving levels of protection to children’s social care and fire and rescue and a large proportion of the £13m that is being reinvested in services will be put in to adult social care.

Value for money in difficult times

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, the Leader of Oxfordshire County Council said: “We have had a difficult time in making cuts to date and there are more difficult times ahead, there is no getting away from that.

“In the New Year we will propose a budget and that will make clear how we will make our savings. Our focus will be on protecting as far as we can the most important services while providing value for money in tough times.

“The Government is itself in a difficult position in terms of the task it has set itself of ridding the nation of the debts that were built up in the previous decade. This is a situation that many developed nations across the world find themselves in.

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