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Council's savings target rises by £11m
A NORTH Yorkshire council has revealed its savings target has risen by £11 million as it asks parents to give their views on plans to cut the amount it spends on bus services.
North Yorkshire County Council, which already has to save £92 million over four years up to 2015, now expects a further £77 million will need to be saved by 2019 - having originally predicted the figure would be £66 million between 2015 and 2019 following the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.
The authority has launched public consultations on proposals to cut costs, including reducing the amount it spends on bus subsidies by £1.1 million a year. Schools are sending letters to parents outlining the council’s decision to review all subsidised home-to-school transport arrangements, and a final report on all the savings proposals will be discussed by councillors in January.
"In the past, we have been able to subsidise buses for pupils who are not entitled to free transport, but in the present financial climate we have to consider whether we can afford to continue this,” said Coun Chris Metcalfe, executive member for passenger transport.
“We recognise that, in some cases, there are wider implications and we will take careful account of all the factors when making a final decision.”
The council currently spends £4.4 million a year subsidising the 20 per cent of bus journeys which are not commercially viable. Cuts to social care could also form part of the savings proposals.
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