WARWICKSHIRE County Council will be cutting up to 627 jobs over the next four years as it seeks to make savings of £92 million.
The council says that compulsory redundancies are inevitable but hopes that much of the shakeout can be achieved by natural wastage.
Over the last three years the council has lost more than 1,500 staff. It currently has more than 5,500 employees, including part-time workers but excluding those employed in schools, which are ring-fenced against any financial cutbacks.
The council's biggest spending challenge to date was announced by Cllr Izzi Seccombe, leader of the council, in a public statement at yesterday’s council meeting at Warwick’s Shire Hall.
She outlined the scale of the financial situation faced by the council, and revealed the organisation’s priorities as it faces these latest round of cuts.
She said: “We know that there are going to be some difficult years and tough choices ahead, and we have a lot of work to do to shape a future county council that cares for our citizens, keeps people safe, offers value for money, and supports innovation and economic growth.
“We have been in the position of making unprecedented savings before but the scale this time round is far greater.
"There are no easy options left and reductions in resource will have consequences which will need to be carefully managed.
"Council officers have been asked to scrutinise every area of spend, and we have been clear that in these initial stages nothing is exempt from review.”
Cllr Seccombe said the council’s core ambitions are to protect vulnerable members of the community and promote economic growth.
She said: “We don’t have a choice about the £92 million savings we have to make but we can choose how to spend the remaining £250 million and we are determined to make every penny of taxpayers’ money count.
“To do this we will look for new, more cost-efficient ways to deliver quality services and explore more opportunities for working with partners and the community now and in years to come.
“We will work with our communities and want to open up a conversation with residents to talk about the scale of the issue we face, and our responsibility as a council to deliver services within allocated budgets.
"What we do now charts the course for the next generation of Warwickshire citizens.”
For a full report see next week’s papers.
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