Jobs to go as council tax revealed

MORE than 40 mental health workers in Suffolk are set to lose their jobs - as their employer seeks to recruit 22 more administrators to operate a more efficient means-testing system.

MORE than 40 mental health workers in Suffolk are set to lose their jobs - as their employer seeks to recruit 22 more administrators to operate a more efficient means-testing system.

The figures were revealed as Suffolk County Council said its element of council tax bills would increase by 4.5 per cent in April.

The council is to put more emphasis on offering people with learning difficulties or mental illness services through its libraries rather than in day centres.

It will also seek to buy more places from private or voluntary organisations like Mind or Mencap.


You may also want to watch:


This will enable it to lose 40 jobs from its own workforce within its adult care and community directorate.

The council's cabinet next week will hear there are dangers with the policy, a report by officers warns: “In order to deliver the required savings this will involve a mixture of service closure and reprovision and some service reductions.

Most Read

“Targeting services for those in most need may also meant that some people, after re-assessment, may no longer be eligible for services.”

The job losses will save £550,000 in 2006/7 and £584,000 in 2007/8.

The changes were unveiled on the same day health services in Suffolk were confirming closures of some of their mental health day centres in the county.

Meanwhile the same council directorate is aiming to increase the number of administrators it employs to assess the amount people should be charged for social care.

The officers have told councillors: “The current charging policy is administratively simple but not sophisticated enough to take account of individual circumstances.”

That means it wants people who can afford to pay more for social services help will have to do so - bringing in an extra £250,000 after the costs of the new employees are taken into account.

County council spokesman Francis Thomas said: “These changes are in line with government guidelines and are not directly linked. They affect different groups of clients.”

He said other councils already operated such systems, and that Suffolk would be falling into line with them.

The county council's cabinet is set to rubber-stamp the inflation-busting rise for 2006/07 at a meeting next Thursday.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter