700 jobs face axe in fresh Cumbria County Council cuts
Last updated at 16:13, Thursday, 12 September 2013
THE axe is set to fall on hundreds of public sector jobs as Cumbria County Council faces £80m of cuts over the next three years.
The final figure of job losses could top 700, council leader Councillor Stewart Young confirmed at a meeting of the full council in Kendal yesterday – with the provision of frontline services also under threat.
Members of the public are now being urged to have their say on where the cuts should be made in a forthcoming consultation.
Cllr Young told the Evening Mail: “Everything is up for discussion, we can rule nothing out.
“We are talking about the biggest budgetary cuts since the Second World War.
“There aren’t going to be any easy options.”
A report to members of Cumbria County Council estimates the authority must make savings of £24.4m in the coming financial year.
Though the final grant from government has not yet been confirmed for next year, it is likely a further £31.2m will have to be cut from the budget in 2015/16 followed by £24.3m in 2016/17.
Cllr Young added: “We have little option because the government is cutting our grant by what amounts to a third over six years.
“We want the public to get involved in the forthcoming consultation – we have to look at everything we offer.
“Do people think fixing our roads or the library service is more important than fostering kids?
“On economic development – do we continue to invest in this area to help improve employment prospects for our residents?
“We want to know what people think.”
Cumbria County Council has already shed more than 700 posts over the past three years as the authority struggled to make cuts of £88m.
But Windermere-based Cllr Jo Stephenson, deputy leader of the county council, said more tough decisions were now on the cards.
He said: “We have to balance the savings required with the responsibilities we have. But one thing is certain – in February the budget will balance and the required savings will be made.
“We will get there and we hope as many people as possible will be involved along the way.”
Concerns were already widespread among council staff, with a window for those considering voluntary redundancy opening on October 17.
Compulsory job losses are thought to be inevitable.
Cumbria Unison branch secretary, Deborah Hamilton described the cuts as “massive”.
She said: “The budget cut will likely mean the losses of 600 jobs; 600 jobs lost to the Cumbrian economy which will no doubt have a multiplied knock-on effect in our county.
“Unison will be concerned about the detail of the proposals around today’s decision and will consult with our members on action they may want to take.”
First published at 16:08, Thursday, 12 September 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
thats fabulous news, maybe we can invest more money for the saving in wages into the local economy, or see our council tax decrease....About time we offloaded some of the dead wood.!
FOLKS WILL LOSSE JOBS BUT MANAGERS STILL GET FREE PERKS CHEAP CARS. FREE FUEL FROM HOME TO WORK. EVEN WHEN THEY LIVE IN ANOTHER COUNTY. WHERES THE SENSE I ASK YOU