£60m more cuts
Reporter: DAWN MARSDEN
Date online: 05 August 2014
OLDHAM Council’s budget has been slashed in half, by £201 million, over eight years — equivalent to £2,232 per household.
Government cuts forced the authority to make savings of £141 million between 2009 and 2014 and they must cut a further £60 million from the budget between 2015 and 2017.
The council is calling on all Oldhamers to do their bit to help cushion the blow of the essential cuts.
Recycling more could save up to £5 million a year in landfill costs and stamping out fly-tipping and littering could save £1 million.
Recruiting an extra 25 foster carers would save £1 million a year in placement costs and helping 100 older people stay in their own homes would also save up to £1 million each year.
The council is also attempting to generate extra income by building more new homes and supporting new businesses to raise income tax.
Oldhamers are also encouraged to “love it local” as research has shown that every £1 spent in Oldham is worth £4 to the local economy.
Council leader Jim McMahon said: “We have to have an honest conversation between the council and residents about the serious financial challenges we face. Half our budget has gone and there are no easy answers.
“As a co-operative borough we need to work together as a team — residents, businesses and organisations — where all of us do our bit so that everybody benefits.
“We can’t spend more money than we have, so we’ve got to stop doing things or do things differently.
“We are already making huge changes by carrying out regeneration projects to dramatically boost our economy. We are building more homes, supporting and encouraging businesses in the borough and we are working closely with other services like the NHS, police and the fire service.
“However, we need to do more and have a comprehensive look at how we can deliver services.”
More information about the budget cuts can be found online at www.oldham.gov.uk/letstalk_budget.
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