Jobs could go at Endeavour House

Public sector jobs in the county could fall over the next few years as new ways of delivering services are introduced.

SUFFOLK: Public sector jobs in the county could fall over the next few years as new ways of delivering services are introduced.

But there are no plans for wholesale job loses at Suffolk County Council - that was the pledge today from leader Jeremy Pembroke.

He was speaking as the county starts to prepare for the government's new world of austerity - which is likely to see local authorities across the country squeezed.

Now the county is looking to work with other public and voluntary sector bodies in an attempt to improve its efficiency and avoid duplication.

Mr Pembroke said: “I am determined we shall continue to have first-class services for everyone - but particularly the most vulnerable members of society.

“But that does mean that we will have to look at new ways of getting the services to people, not just within the county but across the public sector.

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“For instance care of the elderly is handled by ourselves and the NHS - and there is also a role for other councils who provide sheltered housing. We have to work together.”

The county is leading the way in implementing the “Total Place Agenda”, a scheme being promoted by the government's department of communities and local government in an attempt to encourage authorities to work more closely together.

Mr Pembroke said: “It's a programme that has been established by the Labour government, but it has been enthusiastically adopted by the Conservatives and will be a central plank of local government work after the next election.”

He insisted that at present there are no plans for redundancies at the county council - and a programme of retraining workers has meant there is little threat for the foreseeable future.

“We have a very flexible workforce,” Mr Pembroke said. “But there is no way anyone can know what the size of the public sector will be like in Suffolk in five years time - there could well be fewer people providing more targeted services.”

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