Council leader's financial fears over Nottingham cuts

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Council leader Jon Collins said the city and its residents were facing tough times

The leader of Nottingham City Council says there are unlikely to be any services in the city left unaffected by the government's spending cuts.

On Monday the government announced councils across England would have to face cuts of up to 9.9% in 2011/2012.

This means a cut in core central funding of £29.5m for Labour-run Nottingham City Council.

Councillor Jon Collins said "the vulnerable, disabled and children" would all be victims of the cuts.

"In fact this figure (£29.5m) is a big underestimate of the actual cut we're going to have in public spending in the city because there's an element of spin in that," said Mr Collins.

"When you look at the projections over the next four years, I doubt there will be any services in Nottingham that won't be affected one way or another.

"The scale of the cuts the government wants us to make is that it's going to be very difficult for us to protect any of the services we provide."

'Straight and narrow'

Mark Spencer, Conservative MP for Sherwood, said the country was facing "enormous challenges".

"Whichever party took over, they would have had a challenge and we're having to do the best job we can," he said.

"We've got to get ourselves back on our feet and get back on the straight and narrow. We've got to stop borrowing as much money as we're borrowing as it's unsustainable."

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, said in a statement on Monday, that £650m would be set aside so every council could freeze council tax without hitting local services.

The government would provide those who froze council tax with the equivalent of a 2.5% increase in funding and to help protect front-line budgets, £200m would be provided to help councils modernise and cut back office costs.

About 300 jobs at Nottingham City Council could go as part of the savings.

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