City council leader talks to business community about budget

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  • Council leader met with business leaders
  • Discussions were had about where the council is spending its money
  • Total of £31m in savings need to be made
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A COUNCIL leader has called on the business community to share its views on the best way to cope with millions of pounds of cuts from central government.

Donna Jones, Tory leader of Portsmouth City Council, called a business breakfast at the Guildhall yesterday and welcomed businesses to come along, as part of a public consultation.

I need to be listening to people that are running successful businesses in the city

Donna Jones

Over the next three years, the council has to make at least £31m of savings from the £207m that it controls due to government cuts. A lot of the cuts will be to adult social care and children’s services as almost half of the £207m is spent on looking after vulnerable adults and children.

Cllr Jones said: ‘The main priority for me in ascertaining how we will reduce our dependency on government grants by £31m is around social services.

‘We need to be doing more deals like we did with the Spinnaker Tower and Emirates, to be getting more out of the assets we have so we don’t have to cut frontline spending.’

Cllr Jones said she hopes people in the business community will take an interest in the consultation.

‘I need to be listening to people that are running successful businesses in the city,’ she said.

‘We are here to make sure that businesses are profitable across the city. That’s why we spent so much money on the America’s Cup because we wanted people to come to Portsmouth and spend money in our shops and restaurants over that weekend.’

Further consultation evenings about the cuts are due to take place.

The first is on Wednesday, October 14 at the Milton Neighbourhood Forum at Mary Rose Academy, Gisors Road, Southsea, 7pm.

There is another on Thursday, October 22, at the Drayton and Farlington Neighbourhood Forum at 7.30pm at Springfield School, Central Road. And the final one is on Wednesday, November 11, at the Stamshaw and Tipner neighbourhood forum at 7pm at Stamshaw and Tipner Community Centre.

Visit portsmouth.gov.uk and search budget consultation.