GOVERNMENT demands that councils should make efficiency savings of 2.5 per cent every year were slammed by members of Wycombe District Council cabinet last week.

Bill Jennings, the cabinet member in charge of the budget, said the Government would cut its grant to the council on the assumption that half the savings had been made. The other half could be spent on improved services "I am confident we can do it," he told the cabinet.

But Audrey Jones, cabinet member for the environment, did not see why Wycombe should have to make these savings.

She said the council should ask the Government why it was not as if Wycombe was a profligate council compared to some others, she said.

"It is not appropriate to expect us year on year to make 2.5 per cent savings," she said. "There has to be an end to it at some stage."

John Savage said this represented 13 per cent cuts in five years.

Cllr Jennings said the question had been asked before, but with no answer from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Clare Martens, the leader of the Labour group, said county councillors had asked a similar question and had been told efficient councils save money.