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Nottinghamshire council's dire budget fears reduced

20 January 10 06:33 GMT

Nottinghamshire County Council has eased back on previous warnings of massive budget cuts.

The ruling Conservative administration previously said it was vital to save £85m over the next three years.

But the discovery of an "underspend" and the retention of a government grant has helped lessen cuts for the next 12 months by £4m.

More money will be set aside for gritting, but 470 jobs are still under threat and council homes will be sold.

The current public consultation on the budget proposals ends on Friday, 22 January.

Extra tax revenue

In a statement the authority said funding for community transport would stay at current levels - it had previously faced a cut of £150,000 from a total budget of £250,000.

And plans to slash the gritting budget by £50,000 have been set aside and the same amount has been earmarked to pay for road gritting supplies.

Explaining the change of plans, council leader Kay Cutts said the figures had altered because it had retained a £300,000 grant from central government.

The authority said it had "identified £1m of underspend" while adding it had "only recently emerged" the authority would see an extra £1.5m from council tax revenue because of the number of new homes built in the county.

But residents receiving meals delivered to their homes were facing an increase in the cost of the food from the current £2.35 to £3.00, although initially it had been envisaged the cost would rise to £3.95.

And staff working for the authority were still facing a pay freeze in the coming year.

Councillor Cutts said: "We will do everything we can to deliver a balanced budget whilst providing the services that are necessary."

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