VIDEO: 500 council jobs at risk

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UP to 500 jobs could be axed by Doncaster Council and services slashed as the authority faces up to making savings of up to £26 million in the next year.

The stark picture was unveiled by the Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies as he presented the council’s draft budget proposals for the coming financial year to councillors at the Mansion House.

Mr Davies said the authority was in ‘sticky times’ and said some hard decisions would have to be made - but he pledged to protect frontline services and also announced a freeze on Council Tax for the third year in succession.

But some facilities could be closed, including Austerfield Study Centre, which has been used to take generations of children in the borough out of the classroom for an educational experience.

Among the key proposals are:

■ Saving £13.7m by minimising cuts to frontline services while also increasing efficiency

■ No rise in Council Tax

■ Boosting the Doncaster’s economy by investing £330m through continued housing improvements as well as investing in business and transport.

■ Redesigning services by reducing and rationalising demand - saving another £6m

■ Bringing in £2m via additional income through council services.

Mr Davies said: “It gives me no pleasure at all in making decisions forced on us by the current coalition government.

“But Doncaster Council is determined to respond and protect the interest of its residents and continue to provide essential services.”

However, to counter the cuts, a number of council buildings are earmarked to close, while rents, parking prices and the cost of school meals will all go up.

Jobs could go across a number of services after the Government ordered local authorities to tighten their belts.

Trade union officials have criticised the plans which are set to be ratified next month.

Log onto thestar.co.uk to see Mayor Peter Davies comment.




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