Services at risk: £60million savings to be made by 2020

Milton Keynes Council
Milton Keynes Council

Almost £60million will be slashed from the council’s budget by 2020 - putting valuable public services at risk.

This means that since 2011, a total of £147million will have been scrapped from the council’s clutches.

Leader Pete Marland claims he faces the council’s “biggest ever” budget challenge - but vowed to listen to the people and businesses of Milton Keynes before making any tough decisions.

From next month, councillors will consult over where these savings will be made.

“Doing what we’ve always done is no longer an option,” said Mr Marland.

“We’re facing some tough choices.

“We want to make sure Milton Keynes remains a great place to live, work and visit, but inevitably some ‘nice to do’ services will need to stop, and we will be employing fewer people, whilst at the same time looking how to generate income to help support vital services.”

In February, proposals for £22million budget cuts for this year were rejected over fears they would negatively affect vulnerable people.

The plans sparked hours of intense debates in the council chamber, as well as furious protests by the public.

A revised budget was later passed, which saw a total of £2.5million put back into the budget to restore services, including bus subsidies, homeless 
hostels, voluntary organisations and luncheon clubs.

Looking ahead to April next year, council officers are working on plans to present to cabinet next month.

Mr Marland added: “The focus is on making services sustainable, better, and different.

“But we won’t make any decisions without listening to our citizens, businesses and partners first.

“We’ll be consulting on our budget plans from December onwards - after the Chancellor releases details of how much central funding the Council will receive.”