SOLIHULL Council is set to axe up to 85 jobs as it strives to save £2.5 million from its annual budget for the coming year.
The figure is part of a total of £7million which must be saved by the Council over the next three financial years – on top of the £15million it has already had to save between 2014 and 2016 – following yet another low Government handout.
The shocking revelations are made in the Council’s Budget Framework document which details how a total of £1million will be saved by slashing ‘back office’ costs with the remaining £1.5million needing to be found in other departments.
In previous years the Council has been able to save jobs through natural wastage and streamlining services.
But another harsh financial settlement and continued finanical pressures across the board have seen it having to reorganise the structure of departments and face the reality of job losses.
Staffing costs account for approximately half of the authority’s total budget and it can not achieve the savings it is required to make without further reductions in workers.
The proposed changes will include a ‘review of management layers’ in a bid to cut jobs ans save front-line services.
Protecting those front-line services in the years ahead will, however, prove more difficult financial pressues are likely to see cuts to departments including health and wellbeing, neighbourhood services, transport and children’s services.
Coun Ken Meeson, leader of the Council, said the Council was doing all it could to save services.
He added: “Any staff reductions will be where there are posts no longer needed because of reorganisation or new ways of delivery but we will try and redeploy people to fill vacancies where possible and continue to reduce use of agency staff.
“Some of those posts may be existing vacancies that will not need to be filled.
“We are determined to maintain standards and continue moving forward.
“We continue to invest in parks and open spaces and are one of the few councils to upgrade libraries rather than closing them.”
As well as the job cuts the Budget Framework document also confirmed that, for the fourth consecutive year, Council Tax is to be frozen for the next 12 months, but is likely to see a two per cent increase in 2016/2017.
Another £6.8 million-worth of savings have also been identified for the 2016/2017 budget.
How these savings will be made is still to be decided.