Kent

Kent County Council confirms £95m savings

Councillor Paul Carter, KCC leader
Image caption Council leader Paul Carter said Kent County Council was facing "difficult times"

Kent County Council (KCC) has confirmed its plans to save £95m over the next financial year, and said council tax bills would be frozen.

Its budget for 2011/12 and spending plans for 2011 to 2013 were approved at a full county council meeting.

The Conservative-run authority said £39m would be lost through efficiency savings, including job cuts, while policy changes would save £35m.

It also plans to use reserves of £15m, and increase income by £6m.

Older people's strategy, public transport concessions, traffic control measures and early intervention services will lose some funding.

KCC has said it plans to cut approximately 1,500 posts over the next four years.

'Difficult times'

However, the county council said it had identified the need for an additional £1m for placements for vulnerable children, and there would be no immediate, substantial reduction in local bus services, with funding continuing until the end of 2011.

The council has an annual budget of over £2.4bn and employs about 12,000 staff.

Council leader Paul Carter said Kent would lose £58m in government grants next year, which is a reduction of more than 10% compared to this year's funding.

"Reductions have to be found in these difficult times as Kent does its bit to restore this country's public finances," he said.

Zoe Van Dyke, from the public sector union Unison, has criticised the planned job cuts, claiming back office staff would be affected.

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