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COMMENT: County needs time to work out where it can make cuts
10:00am Friday 4th October 2013 in Headlines
RUNNING a Government is not an easy task. But the news that Whitehall bosses are believed to be behind a delay in confirming how much cash our county will get next year is causing deep concern in the corridors of power in Oxfordshire.
As we reveal today, council leader Ian Hudspeth has serious fears that the delays in the announcement of what sum of cash the council will get from the Government is causing delays in the preparations the council can make in what sort of cuts it will have to implement in the county.
This is no laughing matter. The council has sought to be very honest with residents in the county.
It has had to slash its budgets by about £170m since 2010 and will have to cut by a further £91m over the next four years. But it needs to get on with the process of spelling out where those cuts will be.
We all understand that the Government has a job to do and that can take time. But urgent issues about the running of council business need to be resolved.
Cuts will mean changes. Cuts will mean people losing services. But the council needs to know the numbers so it can wield the axe. Waiting until Christmas before number-crunchers can make these big calls is not good enough.
Ian Hudspeth is appealing directly to Eric Pickles to get a move on. Crucial services in the county depend on how quickly the minister listens to his call.
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