Figures show that the council is exceeding its target for making budget reductions required as a result of reduced government funding.
The grant settlement announced last year left the East Riding needing to make savings of around £30 million over the next four years.
With the majority of cuts needing to be front-loaded to the first two years, it is good news that outturn figures as at 31 March 2011 reveal that the council took £9.5 million out of its budget during the financial year 2010/11.
In addition, one-off savings of £12 million were achieved during the same period, making total savings of more than £20 million.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of the council, said: “This is an excellent outcome and I would stress that we are achieving the reductions while still protecting the vital services on which communities throughout the East Riding depend.
“I am also pleased to report that the council is on course to achieve its savings target of £14 million through our business transformation projects – four million pounds more than originally forecast.”
Among the savings achieved are substantial reductions in senior management costs, already well below the average for comparable councils. Savings here are now £840,000, up from £0.5 million this time last year.
An important consequence of the council’s sound financial management is that the capital programme to improve the area’s essential infrastructure like roads, houses and schools is being maintained at the excellent level achieved in recent years.
This year the council is set to spend almost £100 million with a projected £200 million of new investment over the next four years. The council is hopeful that Government funding will be secured to allow the Beverley southern relief road and A164 Castle Hill/Willerby improvements to proceed.
A number of education schemes are planned including provision of additional primary school places in the Welton/Brough area. Subject to funding approval, a new phase of affordable homes will be constructed from 2012/13. Significant investment is also planned in leisure facilities, economic regeneration and energy efficiency projects which will provide further revenue savings in future.
Councillor Parnaby said: “As well as the massive improvements that schemes will bring, our better than anticipated capital programme is also good news for local jobs and the construction industry at a very difficult time.
“Working with neighbouring councils, we have also made further good progress in procurement arrangements, resulting in more responsive and better value contracts and ones that provide great opportunities for local companies.”
Reports setting out the budget position are due to be put before the council’s cabinet on 19 July.
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