WREXHAM residents face another £9.5 million of cuts over the next three years.

And nothing can be ruled out in a bid to make savings, warns a council chief.

News on the latest round of financial pruning – which will come on top of the £7.5 million being sliced from the authority’s budget in the next financial year – was given to members of Wrexham Council’s finance and performance scrutiny committee by chief finance and performance officer Mark Owen.

He said most of the planned cuts in the budget for 2011/12 have already been achieved with “minimum impact” on services and “not a tremendous backlash” from council staff.

He added that, based on indications from the Welsh Assembly Government, the council would have to make further savings of about £5 million in 2012/13 and another £4.5 million in 2013/14.

Mr Owen described these figures as “achievable”.

After the meeting the council’s deputy leader, Cllr Bob Dutton, said: “We have a team of officers working on this and are waiting to see what they come up with in terms of economies.

“We will ensure as far as possible that frontline services are not affected but the spending of all departments is going to be considered.

“Nothing can be ruled out – the warning given by the finance officer is pertinent and gives us food for thought.”

At the finance scrutiny meeting Cllr David Griffiths, Labour member for Gwersyllt East and South, said the situation on school spending was not as bad as feared.

He said: “At the start of the year we expected to have to make cuts of £2 million to school budgets but in the event, as a result of our settlement from the Welsh Assembly Government, the cuts are more like a couple of hundred thousand pounds.

“This will be plus one per cent in 2012/13 and plus two per cent in 2013/14, which means a more positive picture.”

But Cllr Alun Jenkins, Liberal Democrat member for Offa, said: “Despite not having to cut £2 million from the school budget, we are still having to make cuts of £8
million in other council departments.”