Jobs at risk and recycling centres to close as Somerset County Council reveals budget plans (From This is The West Country)
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Jobs at risk and recycling centres to close as Somerset County Council reveals budget plans
1:11pm Friday 17th January 2014 in News
UP to 100 people could lose their jobs at Somerset County Council as part of cost-cutting measures.
The authority today (January 17) announced proposals to save £18million, which could also see youth and community services reduced by £936,000.
Among the proposals are:
- Closure of two recycling sites - but with some of the savings being used to invest in increasing opening times at major sites, saving £174,000.
- Reducing sheltered housing provision by £500,000 over two years.
- Removing management costs for AONBs saving £40,000 next year.
- Cutting staff by up to 100.
The council is also planning a shake-up of children's centres, as well as bringing in self service systems in libraries in the hope of saving a combined £2million.
However the budget, which will be decided on February 19, proposes more than £160m will be spent looking after vulnerable adults.
Some £40million is identified for spending on social services for children including protecting children from abuse, adoption and fostering services.
Taxpayers won't be hit with an increase as the council aims to freeze its share of council tax for the fifth year in a row.
John Osman, leader of Somerset County Council, said: "We have to make tough choices, but we are the same as any careful household. We have a reduced income, increased bills, something has to give.
"It is not something we want to do, but it is something we have to do – just as every council in the country is now doing.
"We are taking people’s views into account where we can – that’s why our council tax is frozen, but these are tough financial times."
Cabinet member David Huxtable echoed Cllr Osman's comments.
He said: "It is not something we want to do, but it is something we have to do – just as every council in the country is now doing.
"We can only highlight a few of the areas where we have worked hard to cut costs but protect frontline services as far as we can.
"I understand that people want their services to remain the same, but we face such financial challenges that we have to reduce or even stop some of what we do.
"I do want to stress that while we have made savings to balance our budget, we are still spending more than £300m on the important frontline services that our residents need."
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