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Hampshire County Council presses on with 1,000 more job losses
8:33am Tuesday 29th October 2013 in News
TORY county chiefs are pressing ahead with plans to axe 1,000 council staff by 2015 on top of the 1,800 posts already shed over the past three years.
Taxpayers face forking out millions in pay-offs as staff will again be offered an enhanced voluntary redundancy scheme.
A council manager on a £75,000 salary, who has worked for the council for 15 years, could be in line for £56,000 of public money – about seven times the statutory minimum. Payouts are capped at 40 weeks’ salary.
The Cabinet yesterday approved plans for sweeping job cuts at the Castle, above, yesterday.
It is part of a drive to cut costs by £93m in 2015- 16.
The local authority has already set aside £10m from reserves for bigger payouts for voluntary departures, although the latest round of job cuts still has to be debated in full council.
Councillor Perry added: “I think Unite and Labour were responsible for taking this country’s economy to the dogs, and now UKIP are forming an allegiance with them.”
The council, which employs about 40,000 people, is responsible for services including libraries, adult and children’s social care, and roads maintenance. Each department is being asked to find 12 per cent savings.
Speaking at Cabinet yesterday, Councillor Tony Hooke, deputy leader of the ten-strong UKIP group on the council, made a plea for jobs to be spared the axe.
Cllr Hooke, below left, said the “soft underbelly of the council and its workforce had already gone” and the job losses would cut deep into frontline services.
He said UKIP had formed the “historic alliance” with the aim of working with council chiefs to find a way of saving money without cutting jobs.
Cllr Stephen Reid, executive member responsible for human resources, conf i r m e d about 1,000 jobs could go.
He said there was “no magic bullet” to transform the council but savings were needed to cope with reduced Governemtn funding.
He said about one-third of the £130m savings to date had come from cutting the wages bill.
Most of the 1,800 jobs shed were achieved by voluntary redundancies or freezing posts, with only 18 compulsory redundancies.
A protest against previous council cuts
Council chiefs expect most of the 1,000 job cuts will also be voluntary departures.
As previously reported, £17.5m of taxpayers’ money was spent on redundancy pay-offs and £9.9m on pension top-ups during 2010-13.
The council aims to save £200m between 2010 and 2015.
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