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200 jobs may be axed at council
7:20pm Tuesday 15th January 2013 in News
TWO hundred job losses are on the way at Worcestershire County Council over the next year – with cuts of £25 million having to be made to balance the books.
Bosses have unveiled the budget for 2013/14 financial year, which they described as “very difficult”.
So far, £15.9 million of savings have already been identified but the remaining £9.1 million is still being drawn up.
As well as 200 jobs being axed, £4 million is being clawed back by reduced athome care and by promoting new assistive technology for old and vulnerable people.
About £1.2 million will be slashed from activities for young people, like sports sessions during summer periods.
And £400,000 will be saved by encouraging more people to volunteer to run traditional council services, like libraries.
Some of the other cuts include reducing management costs in children’s services, less training courses for staff, and moving workers closer together.
Of the remaining £9 million yet to be identified, the authority wants to raid the reserves pot and use £5 million towards plugging the gap.
Other cuts will be revealed in February following a consultation period, launched this week.
County Hall’s annual funding from central Government has been slashed by 5.7 per cent.
Despite that some spending areas will get a boost, with £500,000 more on roads maintenance and an extra £3 million on adult social care.
Councillor Simon Geraghty, deputy leader and cabinet member for the environment, said: “I believe the settlement from the Government is a tough one which will provide challenges in future years.” A report before the cabinet said further cuts of about £20 million should be expected every year for the foreseeable future.
Coun Adrian Hardman, the leader, said: “We do think, that over the medium-term, we’ll need to save about £20 million a year.
“We’ve still got another £9 million to cross for 2013/14 but I suspect that when the consultation period is over, we’ll know how to save it.”
The 200 job losses earmarked for 2013/14 is part of the BOLD programme, a controversial scheme to slash 857 posts and save about £100 million by 2017. About 400 jobs have been axed under BOLD so far, which stands for Better Outcomes Lean Delivery.