Arun Council comes up with new priorities

NEW priorities are to be compiled by Arun District Council against a warning of a grim financial situation.

A report by the council’s chief executive, Ian Sumnall, says Arun is facing tighter restrictions on funding.

He will tell Monday’s meeting of the council’s cabinet of senior members: “Financially, the local context is that strategically Arun has to find about £2m in revenue savings in the 2013/14 budget.

“This equates to approximately ten per cent of the current net revenue budget.

“In addition, the agreed financial forecast requires an annual saving of around £400,000 through vacancy management across the next seven years.

“The council’s support financially as published by central government will be reducing dramatically.

“The national context is a likely continuation of the severe financial downturn and significant reduction in public sector funding.”

He said major new laws – such as the Localism Bill and the Welfare and Reform Bill – are expected to have an impact on council spending as well.

The first phase of this review will be two briefings and workshops for councillors in September and October to set out the council’s financial position and prospects and forthcoming laws.

These will be followed by a series of detailed examinations of each service area.

They will include information about how efficiency savings of three, five or seven per cent could be achieved over two years.

The seminars will take place between mid-October and early December.

The cabinet aims to start making decisions about the services to back and the savings to achieve ready to publish its suggested £2m savings for 2013/14 next January.