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We can handle spending cuts, claims council

Impact on service delivery will be ‘minimal’ but efficiencies required

Published on October 21st 2010.

We can handle spending cuts, claims council

Manchester City Council has said that the cuts to public spending announced by the government yesterday will not affect the quality of its front line services.

The council admitted the cuts had made conditions tough, however, and that all ten authorities in Greater Manchester were looking at ways to share the burden.

Around 30,000 jobs are expected to go across the ten local councils however, with a further 10,000 redundancies affecting the privatre sector.

Councillor Bernard Priest, executive member for finance and human resources, said: "The coming months and years are going to be tough for Mancunians and we have a responsibility to support our residents in any way that we can.

"There will be no knee-jerk reactions to the spending review as our preparations over the last few years have been focussed to ensure that we deliver the best services to our residents in the most efficient way. We believe that we are now in a strong position to minimise the impact on frontline services.

"We anticipated that such a situation might arise and in our forward planning we have ensured that central to everything we do is the maintenance of frontline services. "We have a good record on this and over the past decade our council tax increases have been the third lowest in the country. We have maintained this policy by increasing efficiency year-on-year at the same time as improving services.”

Priest said the council was making its working practices ‘more flexible’ and was looking to avoid compulsory redundancies.

“This structural transformation is changing the authority into a very different organisation with major changes to the way we deliver services,” he said. “However, I want to make clear that under no circumstance is there a trade-off between efficiency and frontline services to the people of Manchester.

"We also need to ensure that we are improving and delivering the services that Manchester people want as their priorities are the driving force behind what we do. For example Mancunians have told us that local libraries are an important community resource and as a result we have invested in libraries. This has been backed up by increased use of all our libraries citywide.

"We know that over the coming years ordinary Mancunians will find life more difficult and they will need support. We want to ensure that we are in a position to give it to them by ensuring frontline services are delivered in the most efficient way.

“One of the ways we are seeking to do this is to identify areas where services can be shared with the other nine Greater Manchester Authorities and other public bodies in the city region."

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EARL OF DIDSBURYOctober 22nd 2010.

Well done MCC for getting on with work as usual, these cuts are necessary so we don't end up like Greece. Hopefully there will be some big salary cuts at the top of the MCC , after all why should any public sector worker(s) be paid more than the serving PM.

AnonymousOctober 22nd 2010.

Front line services are all the public is interested in. The council's admission that it can keep them unaffected depite the cuts is an admission that they were wasting money all along. They are effectively telling us they deliberately wasted money on staff who have no impact on public services. What were these staff employed for in the first place?

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