Council reveals 313 jobs face axe

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.
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MORE than 300 jobs will be axed by Doncaster Council as it prepares to make huge budget cuts, a report has revealed.

The authority had previously estimated more than 500 posts could be lost as it struggles to battle against Government imposed cuts totalling £26 million.

Now, in a report due to be discussed by the council’s cabinet on Wednesday, the figure has been revealed to be equivalent to the reduction of 313 full-time posts – with the axe set to fall before April.

In January, Mayor Peter Davies revealed the grim scenario after the council drew up a raft of money-saving measures, announcing cuts to a string of services.

However, he said Council Tax would be frozen and he would protect frontline services against a backdrop of cuts handed down by the coalition government.

Mr Davies said: “Given the major cuts we have had to make over the last few years, totalling £92 million so far, it is inevitable job losses were part of the equation.

“Nevertheless, I think we’ve saved as many jobs as we can, compared with several other local authorities, by cutting waste, bureaucracy and profligacy and have been able to protect many essential services.

“Of course, we regret the loss of any people’s livelihood at the council, but in Doncaster we have the prospect of many new jobs through the airport link road, inland port scheme, golf course and many other developments.”

The draft budget aims to save £13.7m by minimising cuts to frontline services while increasing effiency, redesigning and rationalising demand to save another £6m and bringing in extra income through council services.

The report, which will be presented to the cabinet, says: “The scale of the reductions over the four years mean staff reductions are inevitable.

“It is currently estimated that delivering the 2012-13 outstanding savings and 2013-14 proposals will involve circa 313 fte (full-time equivalent) reductions.”

Among key proposals are closing three of 21 children’s centres, increasing home care fees and rationalising day services.

It was also announced parking fees would rise along with housing rents.

The budget was drawn up by Mr Davies as well as opposition councillors, union chiefs and other key decision makers in the town.

The council’s overview and scrutiny management committee has spent the last few weeks studying the budget in detail and will be reporting back to the cabinet with their findings on Wednesday.

The final approval of the budget – and setting of the Council Tax – will be undertaken at a meeting of the full council on Thursday, February 21.