Up to 150 jobs cut as Kent County council shaves another £34m from budget
As many as 150 more jobs could be cut by Kent County Council
after it announced today it has been forced to save another
£34million from its budget.
County Hall's Conservative administration is to set out plans
for a further round of cost-cutting today and say more jobs will
have to go.
The council had already announced a £60m package of cost-cutting
measures in its budget this year.
However, the extent of the government's cut to town hall grants,
announced in late December, means council chiefs have had to find a
further £34m of savings.
Unions say they are dismayed by the news, coming on top of a
four-year programme at KCC to shed 1,500 posts to cope with the
government's austerity drive.
County council leader Paul Carter said: "We will be expecting
the organisation to take a further 100 to 150 jobs out of back
office functions and some tiers of management but not frontline
The council will also be dipping into its reserves - so-called
"rainy day" money - to cushion the impact of the fresh round of
It had already planned to take £6m out of its reserves and
today confirmed it will use £3m more.
"The long and the short of it is that we have had to go back to
the drawing board to find another £15m to £16m, which would be the
equivalent of a 3% council tax increase," said Cllr Carter.
He added: "It will involve dipping into our reserves as a
one-off. That does build a cliff edge because that is one-off money
and we cannot keep going into those reserves to pay the bills."
Unison branch secretary David Lloyd said the additional job
losses were unwelcome news.
"We are concerned that his will mean an attack on public
services at a time when demand for many is increasing."
Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Trudy Dean said: "I
never accept these claims that frontline services are unaffected by
this kind of cost-cutting.
"My view is that there no cuts that do not affect services -
there will be fewer people around to do the paperwork meaning
others will have to do it."
The county council is expected to confirm that it will press
ahead with the bulk of its original £60m savings, including cutting
more than £18m from its adult care services, a 5% cut.
Spending on children's services will also be cut by £5.3m.
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