Barnsley chiefs approve £28m in budget cuts

Barnsley Town Hall. Picture: Andrew Roe
Barnsley Town Hall. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Hundreds of jobs are to go from Barnsley Council after town hall chiefs agreed their next budget - including £28m of savings up until 2017.

Council leader Coun Steve Houghton has said the authority has lost half its workforce in the last five years – with 400 more to go in April.

So far 205 compulsory redundancy notices have been issued.

A spokesman said: “We are now working with those staff to try to help minimise the numbers of people who are actually redundant at the end of this process.

Despite these challenges, the council is redesigning the way it works to become leaner and more sustainable. Everything it does from now will be shaped around delivering a thriving and vibrant economy, people achieving their potential, and strong, resilient communities.”

The most high profile saving this year is children’s centres with 10 of the 20 that currently exist earmarked for closure to save money.

The council will review contracts – such as those for providing wheelie bins – as well as its spending on agency staff, stationery and mobile phone usage.

Budget reports list many measures that will be taken to save money – from alternative ways to water 500 hanging baskets to stopping medication checks for people living in care homes.

More money will be raised by increasing prices for burials and cremations as well as for other fees or charges.

Like in Sheffield, council tax is also expected to rise in Barnsley next year.

It will go up by 1.9 per cent – or around £28 a extra a year – on Band D properties in the borough.

Barnsley’s full council meeting will formalise the budget on Thursday, February 26.