A cash injection of £10.8 million from the Government will not avoid the ‘pain’ of the county council’s funding crisis, leader Martin Tett has said, ahead of a critical budget meeting on Thursday.

Cllr Tett thanked the Government at a meeting of the Cabinet this morning for giving Bucks County Council an extra £10.8 million over the next three years, but stressed the extra funding would not be a long-term fix because the grant will have entirely disappeared in that time.

The cash injection follows the shock announcement on December 17 of a staggering £53 million reduction in central Government grant over the next four years.

The lack of funding is expected to result in significant cuts including reduced support for rural bus services, community projects, voluntary and community services as well as phased-out support for PCSOs, less money for planned road investments and cuts to mobile library services, as well as a proposed council tax increase of 3.99 per cent.

Cllr Tett said he was ‘very pleased’ the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark MP, had listened to the council’s request for transitional funding after meeting with him and said the money would help smooth out the reductions in services and prepare for cuts, and would fund some one-off projects aimed at reducing costs in the longer term.

He said: “What we can’t do is put money back into budgets that permanently save revenue cuts that we would otherwise have to make.

“No one around this table came into local government to make the sort of cuts we are now talking about. We all came here to serve the public – these are very difficult times.

“I’m aware that we are collectively having to make some really difficult decisions that impact on the lives of lots of people in this county.”

At today’s Cabinet meeting, Cllr Tett was given the support of former Leader David Shakespeare, who is chairman of the budget scrutiny inquiry group which examined the Cabinet’s funding recommendations in the wake of the Government grant cut.

He said: “All the members of the inquiry group understood just how difficult your job has been this year. These are the most severe cuts from the Government to local government that I have ever seen in my lifetime in council work. So we do appreciate the enormous amount of work that you as a Cabinet have had to put in to try to reach that balanced budget.”

The Cabinet will hold an extraordinary meeting tomorrow evening, Tuesday, February 16, to discuss what the funding will mean in terms of phasing in some cuts.

The council’s final budget decisions will be made at a meeting this Thursday, February 18.