A new way forward our council?

This article was in the BBC this morning, is this a foretaste of things to come here?

Wigan residents have been asked by the council to help it cope with “diminished resources” as the authority continues to make budget cuts.

Wigan new dealThe council has said its books can be balanced if people focus on recycling, sign up for local volunteering and use online services. As part of the “Wigan Deal”, it will then be able to avoid significant job losses and cuts to frontline services. The council must cut £15m during the next financial year to meet targets. It needs to cut £107.8m by the end of 2016/2017, more than 30% percent of its overall budget.

Wigan Council said the amount was “one of the largest cuts faced by any local authority in the country”. The council’s budget proposals will be voted on by councillors at a meeting on Thursday.

‘New reality’

Lord Peter Smith, leader of Wigan Council, said other saving methods were underway, including using community groups to run libraries and swimming pools. He said: “We have to face up to the new reality local councils live in, the situation has changed.

“It’s no longer just about providing services, it’s about working with communities and other organisations. It’s about doing more with less and ensuring we spend our diminished budget as effectively as possible.” He added the council was now in a “strong position financially”, but there was “still pain to come”.

The council has cut hundreds of jobs since the 2010 Spending Review, with the loss of a further 200 positions announced last year.

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