Relocation savings claim questioned - letter to EADT

18 March 2018

Dear Editor,

Having received our council tax bills, those of us in Mid Suffolk will have been told the District Council is saving us "£5.8 million in running costs over the next ten years". Sounds good but isn’t quite true. This is for both Mid Suffolk and Babergh – so approximately only £2.9 million each or £290,000 per year for both capital and running costs.

Further this isn’t saving we will see. Mid Suffolk District Council has moved its headquarters out of the district area and into Ipswich. If the councils hadn’t moved to Ipswich they would have retained only one office as a head office so the true “saving” is much less than claimed.

This is against the background of a council that consistently doesn’t spend its budget (underspending on average £700,000 for each of the last seven years) while over the same time-frame squirrelling away about £10 million from Government grants received for getting homes built (New Homes Bonus).
I hope the Council is more accurate and transparent about savings in the future and reflects the true costs such as in amount of staff experience lost (nearly 100 left last year – not to mention those off sick) as well as the loss of business to communities in Needham Market and Hadleigh.

Yours sincerely,
Councillor Rachel Eburne
Chair of Overview & Scrutiny Committee (Mid Suffolk)

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