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Worcester councillors back cuts package

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Worcester councillors have agreed a finance package to save£3.1m off next year's£16.4m annual budget - and a further£1.2m over the three following years.

The package included increased cemetery and crematoria charges, the loss of 84 jobs and a 4.9% council tax rise.

Worcester has been battered by a combination of a low grant for concessionary bus fares, lack of resources to keep pace with its role as a regional centre and a long-term low council tax policy, a report from consultant Mouchel found (LGC - 20/11/08) .

The package includes efficiency savings of£762,000, service cuts of£1.9m and an extra£450,000 of income generation. It predicted salary savings of£1.6m by losing 84 posts, some 30 of which are vacant.

Ahead of the decision leader Simon Geraghty (Con) said: “The underlying problem remains that which has challenged us for many years.

“We have struggled to fulfil the aspirations and duties placed upon us as a growing university city, without the adequate financial resources to do the job.”

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