THE Leader of Wyre Forest District Council has spoken of the tough choices the council faces following the Government’s spending announcement.

Conservative councillor, John Campion, said: “The Government’s announcement that the district council’s grant from central Government will likely reduce, by over a quarter, during the next four years, will mean tough choices for Wyre Forest. The Government has chosen to address the United Kingdom’s massive deficit by strong austerity measures.”

He added: “Wyre Forest District Council will play a part in meeting those national savings. The detailed impact of the announcement won’t be known until later in the year but local residents should be reassured that the council comes from a strong financial position and has an excellent track record for delivering value for money in local services.”

He went on: “The council will continue to adapt to provide the quality services that local residents reply on. We will continue to introduce new smarter ways of working to protect frontline services.

“There will be tough choices in the coming months but the council will be working together to make sure that it not only responds to these tough financial challenges but we continue to re-align our services to meet the needs of the communities we serve.”

He explained that the detailed settlement for Wyre Forest District Council will most likely not be known until December and it is anticipated that the district council’s cabinet will announce its initial budget strategy at its meeting in December.

Chief Constable for West Mercia Police, Paul West, also explained that the implications for the police authority will not be known until December.

He said: “We will not have absolute clarity about what the headline news means until we are given West Mercia’s specific position in December. It is, therefore, difficult to comment on the impact of the reductions at this early stage.

“The cuts announced represent a significant challenge for the force. However, we always seek to deliver the best possible service for the people of West Mercia and will continue to do so.”

He added: “The force has been preparing for a range of outcomes over the next four years and we aim to carry on serving, protecting and making the difference in our communities. West Mercia Police has a good reputation and I am proud of our dedicated police officers and staff, who work so hard to preserve that.”

West Mercia Police Authority chairman, Sheila Blagg, said: “We knew policing would not be immune from budget reductions. In delivering these savings, we will be working with the Chief Constable to ensure, so far as possible, that the impact on services is kept to a minimum.”

She added: “West Mercia has a good record on achieving efficiencies and we will continue to drive savings while maintaining service levels. We do, however, need to see how these headline figures translate into our local budget position.”

She went on: “The position should be clearer by Christmas, when we consult the public on our plans for 2011/12. Our police officers and police staff do a fantastic job and have our total support.

“It is with their help we can continue to cut out waste and focus on delivering high levels of service to the public.”