Budget news

Having just come out of the county council meeting, I wanted to update you all on a couple of the things we talked about – some of our headline announcements and real outcomes.

Firstly, we have just signed off our 2012/13 Budget, “a budget for jobs and prosperity,” to protect vital services and to save you taxpayers some money, which we know you like.

This budget is good for Staffordshire and is not about reducing services.   It’s about doing things differently and providing services in a more intelligent, tailored and cost effective way.

For the third year in a row we will be freezing council tax, and we are putting more money into things we know you care about, like the local economy and the county’s roads. We’re also changing the delivery of social care services, and changing them for the better.

We spend a massive £1.3 billion a year on all sorts of services, education,road maintenance, social care and libraries to name a few.

And in the last five years we saved £100 million, giving residents the best possible value for their council tax.  Again, most of these savings made through smarter working, innovation and new technology, and through delivering services differently and in partnership with other organisations.

Good news for road users as well.  You may have already heard this but we will be investing an extra £20 million into improving our footpaths and roadsover the next two years.  This is because we know that keeping your roads in good condition is important to you.  Better roads are also good for our local economy, keeping everyone on the move.  We have been able to do thispartly because of savings made in selling off 17 old council buildings and moving staff into our new environmentally friendly Staffordshire Place buildings.

Looking a bit further ahead we have also identified further savings of £97 million which will take us up to 2017.

And finally even after all this hard work, we are freezing our allowances for the fourth year in a row in recognition of our staff not having had a pay rise, the state of the economy and our residents’ expectations.

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