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Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Tuesday, 15 June 2010 17:05 UK
Spending cuts announced for Dorset
Spending Cuts
Looking at the after effects of the recession in Dorset

Dorset County Council's Revenue Support Grant (a grant paid by central government) rise is the highest in Britain at 7.1%.

That figure is unaffected by last week's in-year cuts, announced by the government.

However, Dorset County Council's council tax rises for 2010 - 2011 are higher than the national average, with an average of 2.97% across the county.

So why is the council still making savings in 2010/2011?

Revenue savings

Although Britain's recession is technically over, with a 0.3% growth in the economy recorded in the first three months of 2010, the after effects continue.

Pressure is increasing on public services, as local authorities try to make savings ahead of further funding cuts from central government.

Ahead of the emergency budget which will be announced next week, the government has already announced £6bn of emergency public spending cuts.

Dorset County Council needs to find £2.497m of revenue savings.

This includes taking £1.5m from capital grants, which is for new assets and developments, while Local Area Agreements - essentially rewards for hitting targets - is now cut to £2.7m from £5.4m.

Dorset County Council's head of corporate finance Peter Illsley said:

"It is too early to know how we will be affected by the new Government's budget. We have already carried out a fundamental review of all budgets over the last few months - this will be reported to our Cabinet at their meeting on 30 June."

No changes

According to the latest figures on the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) website, Dorset County Council's council tax rise is high, but by no means the highest in Britain.

In his budget speech, Dorset County Council leader Angus Campbell makes the point that the percentage rise in income for 2010/2011 is only a small part of the council's budget, so does not have the impact you might think.

He said: "The final grant settlement for local government for 2010-11 was announced on 20 January and there are no changes from the provisional grant figures announced two years ago.

"Dorset will receive £50.7 million in formula grant an increase of 7.1% or£3.3m on the current year. However, as formula grant only covers about 8% of the council's gross budget or 18% of our non-schools budget, the increase year on year pays for only a fraction of our additional commitments which stand at £12.5 million in 2010-11.

"At £122 per head, Dorset remains one of the lowest, actually fourth lowest, funded counties for formula grant.

"Despite this position, this council continues to have the highest proportion, at 11%, of grant deducted from what it would otherwise receive in order to help fund those councils who, due to the formula distribution, would otherwise receive less than the minimum increase in government grant.

"This has been a running sore over the last several years and this year £6.7m will be deducted from Dorset in order to support other councils, many of which will already be receiving far more grant per head than we do at Dorset County Council.

"We must continue to press for a fairer distribution of formula grant in 2011-12 and a removal of the formula damping arrangements."




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