By Rob Cox Thursday 03 October 2013 Updated: 07/10 11:15
MORE than 600 Warwickshire County Council jobs will be axed in a bid to save up to £92 million.
The unprecedented savings - amounting to just over a quarter of the council’s annual budget - must be made over the next four years with 627 jobs expected to go.
Exact details of how services will be affected have not yet been decided, but none are being safeguarded, and there is a possibility Warwickshire Fire Service could be merged with neighbouring Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.
Early proposals being considered include increased commissioning of social care services, a bigger role for the voluntary sector in running libraries and moves to integrate other services.
Council leader Izzi Seccombe said: “We are already a lean organisation and it is clear that in the search for further savings there are now no options that may be perceived to be easy, and reductions in resource will have consequences which will need to be managed.
“It is also evident that salami slicing, or simply taking an equal percentage of cuts across service is not a sustainable tactic, and we need to invest in areas of high priority and make tough choices on low priorities.”
The authority has already slashed £66 million of spending and 1,500 jobs over the past three years with the latest savings target blamed on reductions in Government grants, inflation and the rise in Warwickshire’s population.
Coun Seccombe added: “We don’t have a choice about the £92 million savings we have to make but we can choose how to spend the remaining £250 million and we are determined to make every penny of taxpayers’ money count.
“To do this we will look for new, more cost-efficient ways to deliver quality services and explore more opportunities for working with partners and the community now and in years to come.”
Discussions have also been reopened with Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service over a potential partnership.
Coun Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety, said he was confident savings could be made to the fire service without the need for further station closures.
Final decisions on how the cuts will be implemented will be revealed in next February’s budget following a public consultation and public meetings over the next two months.
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/shapingthefuture for more information.
THE REDDITCH and Bromsgrove Advanced Motorists will be
CABARET fans are in for a treat when
A MAN will appear before magistrates this month
A MAN has been arrested following an incident
SANTA is on his sleigh and touring Bromsgrove district, delivering ...
AS WE get ready to launch the Worcester Observer next ...
THE YOUNGER generation recently took over the running of the ...