COUNCILLORS are gearing up to vote on proposals to slash £8m from next year’s revenue budget.

In a report to go before a Blackburn with Darwen finance council meeting next week, resources chief Cllr Andy Kay said the savings are needed to ensure a balanced budget in 2019/20 and to offset any other emerging cost pressures in-year and replenish reserves ahead of more significant savings that may be required from 2020/21, once the outcome of the Fair Funding Review and Business Rates Retention Reviews are known.

Cllr Kay says £4 million will be saved through making the council more efficient and managing demand, while £659,000 will be brought in through increased income.

Workforce savings will save £1.45 million while alternative service delivery models will save £1.77m.

Cllr Kay said: "Given the scale of the financial challenge over the past few years, throughout the course of 2018/19 executive members and officers have continued to review all services and worked to deliver the agreed budget reductions.

"The development of a continuous approach to reviewing budgets, identifying cost pressures and the development and implementation of agreed strategies and options to manage costs within the resources available, has significantly assisted in managing the budget, however despite the efforts of executive members and officers, the scale of the funding reductions combined with increases in demand for services and unfunded cost pressures, has meant that further expenditure reductions have been required during 2018/19 and on into 2019/20, in addition to those already implemented since 2010."

Cllr Kay added: "In balancing the council’s finances to meet the unprecedented financial challenges posed by the government’s austerity policy since 2010, combined with an ever increasing demand for services, difficult decisions have had to be made."