Council workers would take pay cut,claim
WORKERS at a council where 30 posts are under threat, would be willing to take a pay cut to save their colleagues' jobs, it was claimed today.Mid Suffolk councillor Andrew Stringer, who represents the Mendlesham ward, said there is a groundswell of opinion against the proposed cuts.
WORKERS at a council where 30 posts are under threat, would be willing to take a pay cut to save their colleagues' jobs, it was claimed today.
Mid Suffolk councillor Andrew Stringer, who represents the Mendlesham ward, said there is a groundswell of opinion against the proposed cuts.
And he believes a number of people would accept a drop in pay of up to three per cent to help solve the cash crisis.
He said: "There seems to be a wealth of feeling at council that most people would be willing to accept a pay cut if it meant people could keep their jobs.
"It's obviously a difficult period and people don't seem to know what's going on or whether there are any other options.
"By making people redundant we're not going to save money straight away. We have to give a pay-off and it's going to take a while for the savings to come through.
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"There are departments at the council that are at breaking point and any more workload would push them past that."
The redundancy programme has been brought into operation after the council revealed it needs to fill a budget black hole of £1.57million, and is under pressure to keep council tax rises to a minimum. The rise is likely to be set at 6 six per cent.
Roger Saunders, council leader, said the financial situation is so dire it could lead to bankruptcy in the business world.
He said: "We would rather not being doing this but we don't have any other option. We simply have to cope.
"If we were a private company, we'd be talking about bankruptcy. It's that sort of situation."
Mr Saunders denied the cuts would lead to the council failing to fulfil its range of statutory services. He said: "Senior officers have identified the areas where they think would have the minimum impact.
"We identified the core base areas, which are sacrosanct, and have made cuts from others areas."
The consultation process with staff is ongoing and will continue until the final council budget is set in March.
Meanwhile, councillors were today expected to vote for the closure of toilets in Finborough Road, Stowmarket.
The block could now be demolished, at a cost of £8,000, unless an alternative use can be found. Neither the town or district council are willing to pay its £6,350 running costs.
Councillors were also discussing whether to update toilets in Barrett's Lane, Needham Market and Little Back Lane, in Debenham.
Do you think council staff should have to take a pay cut?
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