Severe cuts could transform the future of Milton Keynes because “there is no white knight coming to save us”, warns council leader Pete Marland.
Last week Milton Keynes Council announced it must cut £22million from next year’s budget and a total of £70million by 2020.
But though he’s prepared for a public backlash over the cuts Mr Marland says he wants to face the challenges head-on by working with the community to deliver services that will have to be reduced to save costs.
He said: “I could sit here and gripe about the fact it’s central government making cuts, but it would only be marginally better under a Labour government.
“There is no white knight on the horizon coming to save us.
“That is why I say we have to work co-operatively with the Tories and the Lib Dems because these challenges will go on for the next decade.”
The cuts will also mean job losses with Mr Marland admitting the council’s workforce will be reduced by 2020.
That is on top of the 250 staff lost since 2010.
But Mr Marland says he is prepared for a public backlash over the cuts, and hopes to hear their thoughts at the upcoming consultations.
He added: “We are where we are. I need to work with the money we have got because I have to balance a budget and make difficult choices.
“The future of Milton Keynes is bright; the council used to sit in the middle and just do things to help people, it’s now about collaboration and co-operation between council and citizens to deliver a better Milton Keynes.
“We’ve got to have the vision to say this is what we want the council to look like in 2020.”
> For full interview and details of the public consultations, see our website www.miltonkeynes.co.uk