COUNCIL chiefs will this week outline how they plan to cut almost £40million from the coming year’s budget.
Sunderland City Council’s Cabinet will consider the budget plan for 2013/14 at its meeting on Wednesday.
Members will hear that after confirmation of the final settlement from central Government, the council’s total spending for 2013/14 is estimated at £695million, meaning the authority will need to slice spending by £37million.
A further gap of £31.7million has been identified for 2014/2015 and a similar amount for the year after.
City council leader Coun Paul Watson said: “The outlook is very challenging and difficult although we continue with our aim to manage well under difficult circumstances. People need to be aware that we have taken more than £100million out of council spending in the last three years.
“The impact in the future is much worse for areas such as Sunderland because of unfairness in-built into the new system of funding that is being implemented from April.
“Because of this, the options for efficiencies and savings are becoming fewer.
“Yet, we will continue to prioritise statutory service delivery and helping and improving the lives of the young and vulnerable members of our communities.”
An ageing population means the council needs to find an extra £5.7million to fund adult social care.
“In addition, we continue to look at ways of improving the city’s infrastructure and attracting investment and business,” said Coun Watson. “However, as we move towards finalising our proposals at the beginning of March, there is less room for manoeuvre and flexibility than last year or the year before.”
The cabinet meeting will also set a provisional Council Tax level for the city for the new financial year.
The council’s budget meeting is timetabled for Wednesday, March 6.
Cabinet meetings are open to the public and Wednesday’s meeting is held in Committee Room One at the Civic Centre from 2pm.
Copies of the budget reports and the Cabinet agenda can be found at www.sunderland.gov.uk.