Telford and Wrekin Council plans £22m cuts

Telford and Wrekin Council has warned of cuts to front-line services, as it looks to save a further £22m by 2016.

Care for vulnerable adults and children are among those areas expected to be affected.

The Labour-led authority said the savings were due to cuts in central government grants and a lack of funding to support continuing health care.

However, under the proposals, the area's council tax is set to be frozen for the next two years.

The local authority had previously planned rises of 1.9% in both 2014-15 and 2015-16, before changing its mind in November.

Councillor Bill McClements, in charge of finance, said the change in policy was due to the way government provided grants to support tax freezes.

Job cuts

He said freezing council tax would effectively reduce income by £700,000 over the next two years, but that this was expected to be offset by business growth.

The Conservative opposition group said it had been putting together an alternative budget over recent weeks and that it would be going through the details of the council proposals before finalising those.

To date, Telford and Wrekin has made £53m of savings since 2010 and more than 1,000 jobs have been cut.

The latest proposals include reducing money spent on social care support packages, the number of residential placements for children, a review of transport spending and cutting a further £3m from the wage bill.

Alongside the savings, the council has also outlined plans to invest £15m in regeneration projects in parts of the borough and in tackling youth unemployment.

Mr McClements said the proposals represented "some very difficult decisions".

He said care for vulnerable adults and children represented about two thirds of its budget and would inevitably be affected.

The government has previously said local councils accounted for about a quarter of all public sector spending and that it was only fair they continued to make savings.

A consultation runs until 4 February.

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