Jobs axed to tackle £25m shortfall

YET more jobs are set to go as the county struggles to bridge an annual £25million funding gap, it was announced today.Suffolk County Council's proposals for a radical reshaping of the delivery of front-line services will go before the full council on February 22 - and if ratified, bosses have promised a “leaner and smarter” organisation.

YET more jobs are set to go as the county struggles to bridge an annual £25million funding gap, it was announced today.

Suffolk County Council's proposals for a radical reshaping of the delivery of front-line services will go before the full council on February 22 - and if ratified, bosses have promised a “leaner and smarter” organisation.

Staff across Suffolk were being briefed on the possible changes today.

The plans contained in the council paper also include privatising some services and making others the responsibility of district councils, although it has not been revealed which ones.


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Numbers of jobs or posts that will be axed have also not been revealed.

The funding crisis, which has seen dozens of jobs shed in the past, stems from a year-on-year reduction in the grant handed out to local authorities by central government and an aging Suffolk population which is adding pressure to the council's adult social care services.

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The paper features details of complementary lobbying work that would be carried out at the same time as the internal review.

Ideas include challenging the government on the levels of spending on adult social care, arguing for the reinstatement of a proper grant funding formula that recognises Suffolk's needs and lobbying for a reduction in the amount of government bureaucracy that the council must comply with.

A budget of £3.3m has been set aside in the next financial year to start the transformation process.

Councillor Sue Sida-Lockett, deputy leader of Suffolk County Council said: “There is no doubt that over the next three years as this programme comes in there will be posts lost. But that's posts and not necessarily people.

“We are speaking to the trade unions and staff are being briefed throughout the county during today .

“It is clear that we cannot bury our heads in the sand over this. We must look closely at all aspects of our organisation and make sure the way we work is fit for our purpose of delivering high quality, efficient and accessible services for the people of Suffolk.”

Council leader Jeremy Pembroke added: “We simply could not go on the way we were. If we did carry on, we would have to take £25m from the budget for the next six years and that's not sustainable.

“I want us to be in control of events and not have events be in control of us. I believe it's the only way.

“We want a model which can provide high quality services but also keep council tax down.”

Mike More, council chief executive said several other councils across the country, including Essex, Cheshire and Dorset, are facing similar funding challenges.

What do you think of the plans? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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