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MAIDSTONE: Council announces millions in cuts to services

Wednesday 7th September 2016

CUTS of £4.5 million are feared in Maidstone residents’ services as the borough council looks to plug a massive hole in its budget.


Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) claims rate-payers will be fully involved in finding ways to  find the shortfall in the light of changes to government funding.


But MBC has admitted cuts and “tough choices” are inevitable.


Local MP Helen Whately said: “Making cuts would be of great concern. I’d hope the council can resolve its financial troubles without cuts to frontline services. Are there efficiencies behind the scenes?”


A statement from the council said: “The shortfall will mean services need to be cut or provided in different ways and standards.


“Senior councillors and officers have already looked at what changes are possible. A series of roadshows are now being planned so that residents can be involved in some of the tough choices that will have to be made.”


MBC blames cut in funding since 2010 and an austerity programme which will accelerate in the next five years.


The authority claims it can grow revenues by creating extra households though its housebuilding programme but “scope for growth in the short term is limited”.


The council is unable to raise council tax above a certain government set threshold without a referendum.


 MBC says potential budget cuts of £2.9 million have been identified.