Tower Hamlets cuts �8 million from council costs
COUNCIL chiefs in Tower Hamlets are starting to make savings in a bid to trim the �1 billion budget. The Cabinet has cut �8 million from the budget mainly by slashing vacant posts, renegotiating agency fees and bringing down suppliers costs. The savings
COUNCIL chiefs in Tower Hamlets are starting to make savings in a bid to trim the �1 billion budget.
The Cabinet has cut �8 million from the budget mainly by slashing vacant posts, renegotiating agency fees and bringing down suppliers' costs.
The savings will focus on squeezing agency staff expenditure, cutting vacancies, bringing together support services and tough negotiations with suppliers.
Cabinet members have cut their own allowances and have decided to do without free sandwiches at council meetings.
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The cash they have saved from the refreshments bill will be used to fund free swimming for under 16s and over 60s until October. The free swimming was slashed by the new Lib Con government.
Councillor David Edgar who is responsible for Resources said the council's priority was to protect front line services.
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The government is expected to announce further cuts to local government in October.
He said: "We are having to make �55 million of savings over three years."
But he added he did not anticipate cutting more costs between now and October and he pledged that the council would fight to protect the interests of deprived boroughs like Tower Hamlets.
Tory group leader Peter Golds said the cuts do not go far enough.
He wants to see the council hold an audit of all the assets it owns such as Limehouse Library and Poplar Baths.
He also hit out at wasteful council leaflets and banners and Tower Hamlets Partnership.
"It could be run much more modestly and could save money in terms of publicity and officers' money."
Cllr Golds also wants to see the end of the council paper East End Life.