Welwyn Hatfield Council faces further �2million budget squeeze

FURTHER cuts to public services look likely, as Welwyn Hatfield Council looks to slash almost �4MILLION from next year’s budget.

That’s more than DOUBLE the amount originally anticipated.

And that could mean services the council is responsible for – such as rubbish and recycling collection, council tax and benefits, museums, leisure and parking enforcement – will suffer.

In an email sent to all borough council staff, and leaked to the WHT, chief executive Michel Saminaden said the authority was expecting further budget restrictions, ahead of the announcement in October on the Government’s review into public spending and the amount of grant funding it will be giving to local councils.

In anticipation, Welwyn Hatfield is preparing to find a further �2m in savings from the 2011/12 budget – on top of the �1.7m that has already been earmarked.

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Mr Saminaden’s email reads: “There are still many unknowns, but what is becoming clearer is that there is undoubtedly going to be a further impact locally.

“Under such difficult and unpredictable circumstances, it would be prudent for us to plan for a significant reduction in Government grant, which could amount to an additional �2m over and above the �1.7m that we are already working to achieve.”

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Earlier this week, the council announced it had found �124,000 worth of savings through insurance premiums.

But that figure looks decidedly smaller following the latest bombshell.

Mr Saminaden goes on to stress in his email that “no further decision has been made on future service cuts beyond the �1.7m”, and that any decision “will not be considered until November/December when we are aware of our Government grant”.

Chancellor George Osborne will give his spending review announcement on October 20.

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