Sheffield Council to axe 400 jobs after £50 million cut from budget

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall
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Sheffield Council must axe up to 400 jobs and hike up council tax bills after £50 million was slashed from this year’s budget.

The latest round of Government cuts mean £350 million has been slashed from the authority’s budget in the last six years alone.

Council leaders now warn the days of austerity are ‘far from over’ for Sheffield people, who face higher council tax bills and reduced public services.

Coun Ben Curran, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “Chancellor George Osborne promised a four-year austerity plan.

“Six years later and this is the worst series of cuts this council has seen in its history.”

He added: “There’s a whole body of independent research which shows poorer Northern cities, especially those with Labour councils, are getting an unfair deal.”

Coun Curran said the latest reduction means public services will be cut ‘across the board’.

Up to 400 council workers face redundancy over the year and council tax is set to rise 1.99 per cent.

This equates to 33p a week for households in the cheapest bracket, plus precepts for police and fire services.

The council also expects it will implement the Government’s social care precept of two per cent – which would take the overall figure to at least 66p extra per week for households.

However, to protect those hardest hit by this increase, an extra £200,000 will be added to the Council Tax Hardship fund.

Coun Curran said: “These Government cuts are continuing to hit the city and the days of austerity are far from over for the people of Sheffield, despite government promises to the contrary.

“Our pledge is still to make sure we protect the most vulnerable in society and we will endeavour to make this happen.”

He added: “We will always balance the books but we cannot do this sadly without changes being felt.”

As part of the savings proposals the council is required to submit an HR1 form to inform the Government of potential redundancies, which this year could be up to 400.

Council leaders say they will take steps to minimise redundancies, such as offering voluntary severance and voluntary early retirement schemes.

The proposals will be looked at in more depth at a meeting today between 6pm-8pm in the Town Hall reception rooms.

Council leader Julie Dore and other cabinet members will be available to answer questions from the public.