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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 January 2007, 11:31 GMT
Borough facing 3.15m budget cuts
Northampton Borough Council headquarters The Guildhall
Northampton council is faced with a budget shortfall of 3.15m
Street cleaning could be cut back in Northampton if residents fail to back an increase in council tax.

The borough council is faced with a budget shortfall of 3.15m in the year from April 2007 to March 2008.

It is now asking residents to guide the council on measures to address the problem.

Consultation in the summer produced options such as a higher council tax or cutbacks on graffiti removal, street cleaning, grants or services.

The borough council has already taken measures to save 1m from internal costs by increasing efficiency.

Important consultation

However, a higher than expected take-up of a concessionary fare scheme has cost the borough close to 1m more than advisers predicted.

Energy costs and fuel prices have hit the budget especially at leisure centres where they have risen by more than 100,000 in the past year.

Options identified for further financial improvements are now the subject of extensive public consultation.

Council leader Tim Hadland said: "Additional costs and falling income makes a challenging framework for the budget process, particularly when our objective is to preserve and improve services."

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