Page last updated at 06:33 GMT, Monday, 1 March 2010

Fears of possible budget cuts at Torbay Council

Torquay Town Hall
There are fears that Torbay Council's budget could be cut by up to 25%

Officials at Torbay Council say they fear possible budget cuts of up to 25% over the next three to five years.

They were responding to a BBC survey to chief executives of England's top-tier local authorities requesting details of cuts expected over the next five years.

The average predicted reduction in real terms spending across England was between 10-15%.

The survey was sent to 150 councils, including Devon County Council, Torbay Council and Plymouth City Council.

Of those three, only Torbay responded directly. A total of 62% responded across England.

The survey response from Torbay also named areas of spending considered to be most vulnerable to a spending squeeze.

Job losses

They included highways, libraries, leisure, the arts and environmental services.

Those areas were also singled out by many of the other councils.

The Torbay response also predicted that 200 jobs could be lost.

Torbay Council's budget for 2010/11 is about £134 million, excluding schools related money.

John Hart, Conservative leader of Devon County Council, told BBC Radio Devon there would be 5-10% less to spend.

Barry Keel, chief executive of Plymouth City Council, said: "In the next five years local government in general, and Plymouth in particular, will look very different from how it is now."

Of the surveys received which answered questions about anticipated level of spending cuts in the next three to five years, just seven were like Torbay and thought they would have 20-25% less to spend.

Two councils predicted having 25-30% less money.



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