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650 job cuts bombshell at County Hall
AROUND 650 extra jobs are going to be axed by Worcestershire County Council - on top of the 850 previously announced.
Bosses have unveiled a blueprint for between now and 2017 which reveals at least £20 million is set to be slashed from spending every year.
As well as 650 new job cuts, all services are being reviewed to see if they can be handed over to new providers, a tactic known as commissioning.
The 650 posts being axed are on top of the 857 previously announced back in 2010 under the BOLD scheme, which stands for Better Outcomes Leaner Delivery.
It means that by 2017 a total of 1,500 jobs will have been slashed at County Hall over six years, with just 3,000 workers left by then.
The authority’s leadership say they expect many staff to transfer to whichever organisations take over a service, but that redundancies will be unavoidable.
The fresh cuts, revealed yesterday, are contained in the council’s Corporate Plan for 2013-17, which also says workers that stay on can expect higher salaries because the quality of jobs will be better.
The Corporate Plan also includes notable schemes like £8.5m for faster broadband, rail station improvements, better highways and an agenda to encourage new business to the county.
Councillor Adrian Hardman, the leader, said: “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.”
The cuts are down to ever-increasing demands on services, particularly adult social care, lower than expected Government funding and the economic climate.
They are hoping enough new providers re-employ workers, avoiding the need for large swathes of them to end up unemployed.
They say the figure of 650 new job losses is the authority’s “best estimate” based on budget assumptions.
The Corporate Plan includes £210 million of large-scale investment into infrastructure like roads and rail.
* For more on this story, see your Worcester News tomorrow.
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