Councillors are set to discuss proposals for the Council’s Economy, Transport and Environment budget next week.
Over the last six years Cambridgeshire County Council has successfully delivered £215million of savings. But, over the next five years is still faced with the challenge of a further £100million budget pressure, which includes £3.428million for the Economy, Transport and Environment directorate in 2018/19 alone.
A number of savings have already been made across the directorate which is responsible for vital services that have an everyday impact on people’s lives like keeping Cambridgeshire’s roads moving and delivering vital infrastructure. The focus going forward will be on transforming the way services are provided so the savings targets can be met and the services the public expect are protected. It is also proposed to find additional income of £0.8m which would help to reduce the levels of savings required.
There have been a number of successes which will continue to be built upon. For example, over the next year a further £500,000 saving is expected from the newly launched highways contract with Skanska as it realises efficiencies through a more effective way of working.
Through a range of efficiency and income generation, it’s also proposed to put £230,000 back into the library service book fund to ensure the stock remains relevant and up to date.
The Council has already outlined a strong commitment to reducing congestion into the city and to keep Cambridgeshire moving. To help this it is proposed to remove the £1 parking fee across all Park&Ride sites for the benefit of residents and commuters. This will be considered in full at a committee later in the year as part of wider parking proposals but it is expected that partners will help fund half of the revenue income that the fee currently brings in.
Cambridgeshire County Council’s Chair of the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Mathew Shuter said: “These are tough times for all local authorities and we have difficult decisions to make. We’re a lean directorate having continually made savings over the last few years. So the challenge is now to look to the future and at ways we can maximise our income by transforming the way we work and deliver services, and we are already seeing some excellent examples of this.
“Although it was the right decision at its introduction, we see the potential removal of the £1 parking fee as a positive move to continue to make Park&Ride the first transport choice for people coming into the city.
“We also continue to send a strong message to Government that historic underfunding of large rural counties cannot continue as part of our Fairdeal4Cambs campaign.”
The budget for Economy, Transport and Environment will be considered at the Highways and Community Infrastructure Committee on Tuesday 10 October.