Jobs at risk and recycling centres to close as Somerset County Council reveals budget plans

County Hall in Taunton.

County Hall in Taunton.

First published in News
Last updated

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."

Comments (10)

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1:47pm Fri 17 Jan 14

topcataj says...

Where is the announcement published? I'd like to read the full details.
Where is the announcement published? I'd like to read the full details. topcataj
  • Score: 4

2:17pm Fri 17 Jan 14

Mi_Coc says...

Yeh how can they when they are paying the current ceo 13k a month to sit at home!
Yeh how can they when they are paying the current ceo 13k a month to sit at home! Mi_Coc
  • Score: 7

5:43pm Fri 17 Jan 14

confusedconfucious says...

How about cutting the 'Somerset Parking Services' van and crew that sit on the sea front in Minehead on a Sunday afternoon and pull out in time to clock off? One occasion sat for over an hour with the engine running, other occasions well over an hour, and no it is not lunch time! Are they on enhanced pay because it is Sunday? Yet to see them actually check a machine or vehicle so don't tell me they are 'working' ... Mind you this Sunday was a shorter stay - she wasn't with he so he left nice and early
How about cutting the 'Somerset Parking Services' van and crew that sit on the sea front in Minehead on a Sunday afternoon and pull out in time to clock off? One occasion sat for over an hour with the engine running, other occasions well over an hour, and no it is not lunch time! Are they on enhanced pay because it is Sunday? Yet to see them actually check a machine or vehicle so don't tell me they are 'working' ... Mind you this Sunday was a shorter stay - she wasn't with he so he left nice and early confusedconfucious
  • Score: 6

8:30am Sat 18 Jan 14

Mi_Coc says...

confusedconfucious wrote:
How about cutting the 'Somerset Parking Services' van and crew that sit on the sea front in Minehead on a Sunday afternoon and pull out in time to clock off? One occasion sat for over an hour with the engine running, other occasions well over an hour, and no it is not lunch time! Are they on enhanced pay because it is Sunday? Yet to see them actually check a machine or vehicle so don't tell me they are 'working' ... Mind you this Sunday was a shorter stay - she wasn't with he so he left nice and early
I think somerset parking services is separate to scc and run as a private business making it's own money.
[quote][p][bold]confusedconfucious[/bold] wrote: How about cutting the 'Somerset Parking Services' van and crew that sit on the sea front in Minehead on a Sunday afternoon and pull out in time to clock off? One occasion sat for over an hour with the engine running, other occasions well over an hour, and no it is not lunch time! Are they on enhanced pay because it is Sunday? Yet to see them actually check a machine or vehicle so don't tell me they are 'working' ... Mind you this Sunday was a shorter stay - she wasn't with he so he left nice and early[/p][/quote]I think somerset parking services is separate to scc and run as a private business making it's own money. Mi_Coc
  • Score: -4

10:48am Sat 18 Jan 14

confusedconfucious says...

got the logo and the website on it - same as the other council vehicles
got the logo and the website on it - same as the other council vehicles confusedconfucious
  • Score: 4

3:25pm Sun 19 Jan 14

Somerset:SocialistParty says...

These attacks on the people of Somerset are directly related to the Con-Dem government`s policy of letting capitalism rip.

Somerset County Council's ruling Tory group slash and privatise our services, leaving the vulnerable and needy exposed to market forces. They sack their workers, destroying their ability to provide a decent standard of living for their families and are undermining their communities. There are over 100 more jobs threatened by this latest tranche of cuts of £18 million being cut from the budget. None of the 'opposition' party groups on Somerset County Council (including both UKIP and the Greens) can claim to oppose all cuts to all jobs and services, oppose all privatisations and oppose all service charge increases. The various establishment parties when either in power or 'opposition' claim to 'oppose cuts', yet they are all a fraud!

They hire obscenely paid directors (like Shelia Wheeler who has failed to turn up for her 'work' for 10 weeks!) and managers to oversee the carnage.

They waste public money on vanity projects like 'Taunton Vision' and unnecessary posts - an indication of their remoteness and dislocation from the communities they represent so poorly. They have now lost all credibility with the electorate.

They keep telling us that they have no option but to implement the cuts.

Yet this is a monumental lie.

No major party stands 100% against this overlapping austerity agenda from the establishment parties. But this May, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is committed to fielding the largest left electoral challenge ever seen at local elections in this country - over 600 candidates in practically every town and city. Each one standing in defence of jobs and services, and against wage cuts or service charge increases.

Could you consider standing as a TUSC candidate?

Find out more at www.tusc.org.uk
These attacks on the people of Somerset are directly related to the Con-Dem government`s policy of letting capitalism rip. Somerset County Council's ruling Tory group slash and privatise our services, leaving the vulnerable and needy exposed to market forces. They sack their workers, destroying their ability to provide a decent standard of living for their families and are undermining their communities. There are over 100 more jobs threatened by this latest tranche of cuts of £18 million being cut from the budget. None of the 'opposition' party groups on Somerset County Council (including both UKIP and the Greens) can claim to oppose all cuts to all jobs and services, oppose all privatisations and oppose all service charge increases. The various establishment parties when either in power or 'opposition' claim to 'oppose cuts', yet they are all a fraud! They hire obscenely paid directors (like Shelia Wheeler who has failed to turn up for her 'work' for 10 weeks!) and managers to oversee the carnage. They waste public money on vanity projects like 'Taunton Vision' and unnecessary posts - an indication of their remoteness and dislocation from the communities they represent so poorly. They have now lost all credibility with the electorate. They keep telling us that they have no option but to implement the cuts. Yet this is a monumental lie. No major party stands 100% against this overlapping austerity agenda from the establishment parties. But this May, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is committed to fielding the largest left electoral challenge ever seen at local elections in this country - over 600 candidates in practically every town and city. Each one standing in defence of jobs and services, and against wage cuts or service charge increases. Could you consider standing as a TUSC candidate? Find out more at www.tusc.org.uk Somerset:SocialistParty
  • Score: 4

4:00pm Sun 19 Jan 14

confusedconfucious says...

enjoying the sea air again - Sunday afternoon and where are Somerset Parking Services? - yup, Minehead sea front chatting in the vehicle, well over the hour again. Still there at 3.25 so no doubt will be moving soon. How much are they costing the Public Purse, the vehicle/maintenance/
fuel/wages? You want to make cuts start there ....
enjoying the sea air again - Sunday afternoon and where are Somerset Parking Services? - yup, Minehead sea front chatting in the vehicle, well over the hour again. Still there at 3.25 so no doubt will be moving soon. How much are they costing the Public Purse, the vehicle/maintenance/ fuel/wages? You want to make cuts start there .... confusedconfucious
  • Score: 0

9:49am Mon 20 Jan 14

Mi_Coc says...

confusedconfucious wrote:
enjoying the sea air again - Sunday afternoon and where are Somerset Parking Services? - yup, Minehead sea front chatting in the vehicle, well over the hour again. Still there at 3.25 so no doubt will be moving soon. How much are they costing the Public Purse, the vehicle/maintenance/ fuel/wages? You want to make cuts start there ....
Parking enforcement is reactive, they will soon be out if they issue disproportionally less tickets than their colleagues. They are paid £18-20k per year.

Sheila has been paid that over 20K christmas and hasn't even turned up fro work!!

You must have a thorn in your side as they must get you for parking infirgments do you alwways park lawfully and so think anyone else must be penelised for less. They seem very proactive in taunton and wellington. You are the first to moan that they aren't very proactive! Most moan they issue tickets to quickly?!?!?
[quote][p][bold]confusedconfucious[/bold] wrote: enjoying the sea air again - Sunday afternoon and where are Somerset Parking Services? - yup, Minehead sea front chatting in the vehicle, well over the hour again. Still there at 3.25 so no doubt will be moving soon. How much are they costing the Public Purse, the vehicle/maintenance/ fuel/wages? You want to make cuts start there ....[/p][/quote]Parking enforcement is reactive, they will soon be out if they issue disproportionally less tickets than their colleagues. They are paid £18-20k per year. Sheila has been paid that over 20K christmas and hasn't even turned up fro work!! You must have a thorn in your side as they must get you for parking infirgments do you alwways park lawfully and so think anyone else must be penelised for less. They seem very proactive in taunton and wellington. You are the first to moan that they aren't very proactive! Most moan they issue tickets to quickly?!?!? Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

1:13pm Mon 20 Jan 14

topcataj says...

confusedconfucious wrote:
got the logo and the website on it - same as the other council vehicles
Council is responsible for the service, but I believe private firm NSL actually carry out the work. The wonders of outsourcing perhaps?
[quote][p][bold]confusedconfucious[/bold] wrote: got the logo and the website on it - same as the other council vehicles[/p][/quote]Council is responsible for the service, but I believe private firm NSL actually carry out the work. The wonders of outsourcing perhaps? topcataj
  • Score: 0

1:45pm Mon 20 Jan 14

tonysays says...

they still have £338m of debt! They've only cut £15m from the total in 5 years! Better close everything, quick...

https://www.whatdoth
eyknow.com/request/a
uthority_debt#commen
t-46767
they still have £338m of debt! They've only cut £15m from the total in 5 years! Better close everything, quick... https://www.whatdoth eyknow.com/request/a uthority_debt#commen t-46767 tonysays
  • Score: 2

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