Suffolk care services face £10m cuts but savings also planned

Endeavour House, Ipswich - Suffolk County Council headquarters Suffolk County Council is looking to cut £36.8m from its budget

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Plans to slash the budget for community services in Suffolk as part of £36.8m of cuts mean vulnerable people will "suffer", opposition councillors say.

Conservative-run Suffolk County Council is targeting adult and community services with a £6.4m cut as it seeks to prune its £1bn annual budget.

The plans will be discussed later before going out to consultation.

The Labour opposition said vulnerable people and staff working in social care would suffer most.

Money for marginalised adults, young people, Gypsies and travellers, children's centres and sheltered accommodation, will be cut by £3.5m.

'Significant savings'

Council's four-year cuts plan

  • 2014/15 -£36.8m
  • 2015/16 - £41.9m
  • 2016/17 - £50.4m
  • 2017/18 - £27.3m

However, the council expects savings will be made with its new energy-from-waste plant at Great Blakenham, due to open in December 2014, to save it £8m waste disposal costs in its first year.

Other savings include running its computing, information technology, human relations, finance and public access services and staff back "in-house", with the move likely to save another £9m.

Councillor Colin Noble, said: "There is a great deal of pressure on the county council to deliver significant savings but no decisions will be taken without thorough public consultation."

Sandy Martin, leader of the Labour group, said: "The council has made savings in social care over recent years by increasing the criteria for eligibility for funding and by imposing charges.

"They have reached a limit on this now so the next step is to cut the budgets of private service providers whose staff are already on minimum wages.

"This means those who can get the services will find them greatly reduced so vulnerable people and those that serve them will suffer."

The final decision on the council's 2014/15 budget will be taken next February.

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