Council confirms 200 job losses and £20 million of savings

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CUTS at Rotherham Council have now received final approval meaning 200 redundancies and £20million of savings will go ahead.

But council tax will be frozen for the second year running as the council tries to avoid imposing ‘extra pressure’ on residents.

The budget for 2012/13 was approved at a full meeting of the council.

Leader Roger Stone said it was hoped many of the jobs would be lost through voluntary redundancies, but couldn’t rule out the possibility of compulsory redundancies.

“We’ve tried not to affect frontline services,” said Coun Stone. “We have balanced the budget with the least amount of pain to our frontline services which means there is a lot of the back office that has been reduced.”

Almost £9.8million worth of savings will be made across service areas, while £2million will be saved with the job losses.

Coun Stone said that £800,000 will be saved by freezing staff increments, but stressed that a 1.15 per cent pay reduction implemented last year would be reinstated.

Coun Stone also thanked the staff for the way they have worked with them as they went through the budget process.

Chief executive Martin Kimber said the council would continue to protect its most vulnerable adults and children while making sure frontline services are protected.

But he admitted: “It’s almost inevitable that when we are taking the type of money out of the system that we are having to take out in Rotherham that there will be impacts.”

He said that in 2009 the council was spending £1,000 per resident on council services, but now this amount will be just under £800.

Deputy leader Coun Jahangir Akhtar said making the cuts had been ‘extremely hard’.

Rotherham Council will receive £2.33million from the Government for freezing council tax.

The council is faced with finding a further £12 million in 2013/14.