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County Council leader claims spending review is ‘not a black day’ for the public sector

Staffordshire County Council Leader Philip Atkins

Staffordshire County Council Leader Philip Atkins

People in Lichfield and Burntwood have been reassured that the Government’s spending review won’t decimate services in Staffordshire.

Chancellor George Osborne unveiled a plan of cuts yesterday (October 20), with local councils being forced to cut 7.1 per cent annually over the next four years.

And while individual authorities will not find out the exact funding allocations until December, Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins has moved to try and reassure local residents.

He explained:

“Staffordshire people can be reassured that while the county council will play its part in reducing the National Debt, we will keep a clear focus on local people and their needs – not nationally imposed targets.

“We passionately believe it is not a black day for the public sector – there are great opportunities for the whole of the public sector in Staffordshire to improve to work smarter, more collaboratively, and focuses our resources and efforts into the things that really matter to people. This a real opportunity to make this happen and the county council is determined to be a driving force to happen.

“Since winning the election fifteen months ago, we have worked hard to build a sound financial base and already have a good record of achieving significant savings. We will do this by continuing to listen to residents, improve the economic prosperity of families and the county and being there for the most vulnerable, children and adults, who cannot help themselves.”

Public sector workers are expected to be hit hard by the cutbacks. Cllr Atkins didn’t divulge what the future was for the authority’s employees, but told them they would be kept informed as information becomes available.

He added:

“We strongly appreciate everyone who works for Staffordshire County Council and today we would also encourage all employees to feel proud of what they do and what we have achieved. It is only natural that people, including our staff, to be concerned but we will treat everyone fairly and honestly. Everyone will be kept informed of any changes that lie ahead”.

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