Millions cut from cost of services

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THE cost of providing services in Herts has dropped by £293.6 million.

In 2009/10 the cost of services was £864.4 million, but this fell to £570.8 million in 2010/11.

The figures are contained in Herts County Council’s annual report for 2010/11, which says the drop is explained by improvements in the authority’s pension liability and its programme to cut the budget by £200 million by 2015.

The report reveals the council is worth £1.8 billion, which includes land, buildings, roads and schools.

Figures also show 75 per cent of the working age population in the county is in work, compared to the best performing region, the South East, where the figure is 72 per cent.

Median weekly earnings are £540, which is again above the UK figure of £500.

The proportion of the working population educated to GCSE level or higher is 74.5 per cent, which is 6.4 per cent higher than the East of England and 5.1 per cent higher than the UK.

The report also shows the number of people in residential care fell by 167 in 2010/11, while the number of children in care dropped from 588 to 459. In 2010 64 per cent of children achieved five GCSE passes including maths and English, compared to 59 per cent the year before.