Swansea Council chief executive tackles £30million spending cuts in talk to business leaders
SWANSEA Council chief executive Jack Straw has told business leaders the local authority will have to cut £30 million from its budget in coming years.
It comes on top of the millions of savings already made by the council since the first of the Con-Dem Government's austerity budgets.
Mr Straw was guest speaker at Swansea Business Club, which now has more than 200 members and next year celebrates its 65th birthday.
The council chief executive tackled everything from the expected £30 million spending cut to poverty, political priorities, the role of the chief executive and city regions.
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Mr Straw is the head of paid services at the council and his role involves managing its 12,500 strong staff.
The father-of-five first came to Swansea from his home town of Nottingham in 1989 after receiving a promotion.
Next month Mr Straw will mark two years as chief executive of the local authority.
During his speech to business leaders at the Marriott Hotel in Swansea Marina, he tackled the issue of poverty in the city.
"There is a huge amount of inequalities in Swansea between east and west", he said.
"It is a generational problem we are not going to improve in a year."
Looking at how the anticipated major budget cuts could affect the business community in Swansea he said: "Business support is about how we work together.
"The one way we need to help business is through a single point of contact for people who want to do things with the local authority.
"It is about having a single strategy so we know what we are trying to do.
"We must build structures that the business sector understands and can engage with."
The chief executive added: "Our challenge is to manage the impact on citizens of budget cuts and maintain the services as best we can with diminished resources.
"Swansea makes different decisions to Neath Port Talbot.
"With savings there needs to be consistencies across Wales.
"Welsh Government and local authorities need to work together.
"It is a challenge, but that is what we have got to try to do."
First Minister Carwyn Jones will address members of Swansea Business Club at the city's Village Hotel on April 26.
On June 13 the club welcomes broadcaster and former MP Michael Portillo to give a talk at Swansea's Liberty Stadium.