More county council job cuts expected

By Rob George Thursday 24 January 2013 Updated: 25/01 16:55

AN EXTRA 650 jobs will be axed by Worcestershire County Council over the next four years in addition to the 850 redundancies already announced.

The news was revealed in the council's Corporate Plan for 2013 to 2017 which was debated by councillors at a meeting at County Hall last Thursday (January 17).

A total of 857 redundancies have already been revealed as part of the county council's BOLD programme, which aims to save it around £60million.

But council leader Adrian Hardman and chief executive Trish Haines confirmed the further job losses as part of the overall plan to reduce the council's workforce from 4,500 staff to 3,000 in the next four years.

"This won’t be an easy thing for us to do, it won’t be an easy thing for council staff either, but we are determined to protect front line services while facing up to the financial challenges we face," Coun Hardman said.

Mrs Haines said she expected many of the staff to be working in just three or four council-owned buildings in the future and a change in the way the authority provided its services.

The Corporate Plan also includes notable schemes like £8.5million for faster broadband, rail station improvements, better highways and outsourcing many of the services the authority provides.

"While the financial situation is tough for all local authorities and it will continue to be challenging, the County Council's planning and forward-thinking in terms of savings and organisational transformation stand us in good stead for the future," Coun Hardman said.

"Change is never easy, but if we are an open and transparent council where people understand the reasons why we are doing it, then we will truly move to being the great council for the people of Worcestershire that I aspire us to be."

The plan was rejected by members of the county council's Labour group whose leader Coun Peter McDonald said the council was not fit to run the services it provided.

"The fact is when you outsource services for someone else to run, the first thing they look for is profit," he said.

"If you look closely at the way Worcestershire County Council is spending its money, the majority is going on consultants, that is disgraceful."

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