‘Think before you cut’ message from scrutiny committee

View from the roof of Fairfax House, with thanks to the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust. Looking across to the Bucks County Council (BCC) tower
View from the roof of Fairfax House, with thanks to the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust. Looking across to the Bucks County Council (BCC) tower
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The impact of proposed council cuts on voluntary organisations should be examined before any decisions are made - according to a scrutiny committee.

Bucks County Council’s budget scrutiny committee released its recommendations on Tuesday, after looking at a slew of proposed money saving measures.

Inquiry chairman David Shakespeare said: “We have given a full and robust challenge to the cabinet members on their budget plans, on behalf of residents, through a wide ranging inquiry, and we hope our results report and recommendations will be of benefit to cabinet as the budget setting process nears completion.”

Other recommendations in the report included prioritising the speed and ease of recruitment of social 
workers, after the committee heard the problems faced by the council’s beleaguered children’s services department.

The department is set to go over budget again this year, with bosses blaming the pressures of increased referrals, and difficulties in retaining staff.

In total 11 sets of recommendations were made by the committee, which will be presented to Bucks County Council’s cabinet on February 9.

The report says: “Despite wider economic pressures, Buckinghamshire remains one of the mot prosperous counties in England, with much better educational attainment and lower levels of poverty and unemployment than the national average.”

It added: “To maintain this position the authority had to respond flexibly to an ever-changing set of demands.” The demands include aging population and roads.