Government cuts have left the forthcoming budget 'right on the edge' says cabinet member for finance Andrew Stafford

Enfield Borough Council’s budget for 2014/15 is set to be passed through this week among concerns that central government funding cuts has left them ‘right on the edge’.

It is thought that between 2010 and 2018, 40 per cent of the Council’s budget has been cut down, leaving them stretched across most departments.

Cabinet member for finance, Andrew Stafford believes the council is on the edge with its budget but is confident that it can cope.

He said: “When you are right on the edge. Over a four year period we have had our budget cut about £80million, 27 per cent of the budget.

“The chancellor has now announced between 2014-18, we will have to cut another 60 million,that equates to about 40 per cent of our budget.

“The way we approaching this the same as we did last time around and that is we are confident we will make the cuts but at this stage, a great deal of the financial future is still uncertain I think uncertainty does come up.”

Plans have been made to freeze council tax for a fourth successive year and despite cuts, the Enfield Residents’ Priority Fund will continue to be supplied.

Cllr Stafford also said that the auditors were satisfied with the council’s budget but warned that a crisis is never too far around the corner.

He said: “. The only thing that matters is what the auditors say and they have said there is no cause for concern whatsoever and the council is robust and resilient.

“Are we going to have another crisis in adult social care? Or have children without any books because of library closures? We are on a knife edge.”

Elsewhere, a total of £505 million capital programme from the council will be spent over three years and will include £80 million school expansion scheme over the same period.

There will also be £50 million spent on housing per year as Cllr Stafford described the pressures of temporary accommodation in the borough as “enormous.”

The budget will go to full council on Wednesday, February 26.

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