Trafford Council, a Conservative flagship, have released details of their draft budget for 2012/13. They will freeze the Council Tax, increase help to the vulnerable and maintain front line services. All this is made possible by finding another £6.7 million of efficiency savings.
Lower management and back office costs and increased use of technology mean 72% of savings will come from increased efficiency, increased trading and grant income and previous cost saving initiatives.
Other savings include £481,000 from Human Resource and training functions, £518,000 in lower finance department costs and £420,000 in lower IT costs and increased income.
The majority of staff reductions (58%) will come from Management and back office posts. Trafford will continue to lead the way in Greater Manchester in collaboration with other local authorities and public sector agencies.
The council is slashing costs and increasing trading income through collaboration in HR and payroll services with Wigan and Stockport Councils, providing a joint CCTV service with the Police, increasing income from partners and driving savings from procurement across all 10 Greater Manchester Councils, saving over £25m over 3 years.
There will be increased use of telecare to provide more independence to older people, ebooks in the libraries, mobile devices for enforcement officers and video links to the contact centre.
Trafford will increase the positive contribution that volunteers can make in our communities. In particular to keep libraries and children’s centres open and increase the youth service provision. In January, the Volunteer Army will be launched, seeking to further extend the Big Society in Trafford.
Extra money is being found children wiyth complex needs, older people or those with learning disabilities and to support re-ablement for adults, helping them to live more independent lives.
Trafford will be keeping library buildings open, unlike Labour in Bolton. They will be keeping youth centres, community buildings and children’s centres open, unlike Labour in Liverpool. They will be maintaining school crossing patrols, unlike Labour in Manchester.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Matt Colledge, said:
“In proposing this budget Trafford Conservatives are making a clear statement: we aim to protect front line services for the benefit of our residents. It has not been an easy process but, in contrast to many Labour run councils, we are determined to maintain services such as our youth and children’s centres, keeping all of our library buildings open and preserve our lollipop patrols. Also in recognising that many residents are feeling the squeeze Trafford Conservatives propose to freeze council tax for a second year running.”
Executive member for Finance, Cllr Sean Anstee, said:
“'Conservatives in Trafford have proven that in delivering savings this year, it is possible to do more for less and make spending reductions through efficient service delivery and removing bureaucracy.”
“Our budget proposals for next year build on that pledge to ensure that nearly three quarters of the savings will not impact front line services. This contrasts favourably to Labour's slash and burn approach.”
Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Alex Williams, said:
“Trafford Conservatives have maintained our record of delivering austerity savings from efficiencies, reductions in bureaucracy, collaboration and new methods of service delivery. Unlike Labour Councils up and down the country we have not and will not cut the front line first. Conservative run Trafford will maintain basic services as a priority, including increased provision for the most vulnerable.”