WARRINGTON Borough Council has found 50 ways to save £50 million.

And it has revealed in a new document how it has gone about cutting the cash after losing almost a third of its Government funding over the past three years.

Among the measures are reducing management costs, improving recycling and redesigning services.

Leader of the Council, Clr Terry O’Neill, said: “Councils continue to be asked to make savings and, overall, those in the north of England have taken a bigger hit to their revenue budgets than councils in the south.

"The difference in average spending power per head between councils in the north and those in the south is £69, as reported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

“While we do want to ensure local residents get value for money, councils over many years have had to salami slice budgets across a wide number of services, but now the long term impact of those cuts means we are getting very close to the bone. 

"In Warrington, we are really concerned about having to continue to take huge amounts of money away from services, particularly those for vulnerable people who rely on us to provide support in difficult times.

“That is why we have done our very best to find innovative ways of reducing our costs, attract new sources of funding and protect services but the figures - £50 million out of a revenue budget which now stands at £145 million - speaks for itself.

"It does feel like residents in the north of England are being treated unfairly compared with those in the south. In Warrington, we start from a particularly low funding base where funding from council tax is around six per cent less than the national average."

Executive Board Member for Corporate Resources and Assignments, Clr Russ Bowden, compared Warrington’s list of 50 ways of saving money with those produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Clr Bowden said: “Back in December, 2012, when the Government produced their suggested list of savings without having too much impact on front line services, we had already delivered a wide range of savings, including using many of the suggestions made in that booklet.

"Those savings included reducing printing, not providing catering or mineral water at meetings, freezing recruitment, ceasing subsidies, not using consultants, hot-desking, reviewing absenteeism, tackling duplicate payments and such like. Warrington’s list of 50 ways to save looks quite different from the Government’s list

“Warrington Council continues to be a pioneer in creative thinking, developing new solutions to improve the local economy, reduce unemployment and change the way citizens view services on offer, to reduce demand. 

“Through our transformation programmes and four year robust budget planning strategy, we continue to work to balance the need to deliver within our available resources while responding to the challenges and pressures faced by our communities. 

"Over the medium to longer term, our programme of significant regeneration within Warrington will further improve our growing economy and help generate additional savings through green energy schemes and business rates retention; as well as providing additional housing and employment for Warrington citizens."