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100 jobs to go and council tax up as council faces £14m cuts
5:59pm Monday 27th January 2014 in News
ALMOST 100 jobs will be lost and council tax will increase as part of £14.4million cuts at Southampton City Council.
Labour council bosses have this evening put forward their final budget proposals which will come into force from April if approved by the full council.
Among the proposals - which are likely to be formally adopted at a council meeting on February 12 - are raising council tax by 1.9 per cent.
A total of 48 jobs - 22 of which are already vacant - will be axed across the council.
And with another 43 jobs being cut through the streamlining of the authority's children's, public health, adult and housing departments into the new People Directorate, it means almost 100 jobs will be lost this year at the council.
The City Patrol service, which deals with littering and other “environmental crime” will be scrapped with the loss of four jobs.
And the Tudor House museum is set to have its hours reduced, while Trading Standards will be scaled back.
The council carried out consultation which 3,600 residents responded to, and Labour bosses say they have responded to several items of concern.
Two staff within the museums and galleries education team will now keep their jobs, with a budget for freelance staff being cut to make up the difference.
The pledge by city council leader Simon Letts to freeze parking charges for the next three years is also included within the budget.
And he has also announced he will work with opposition parties to look at the number of the city's wards and councillors, and how often elections take place, in a bid to cut further funding.
The authority has met a £1.4milion shortfall by dipping into the council's reserves.
The council's deputy leader and cabinet member for resources, Stephen Barnes-Andrews, said: “We are facing a shortfall between our income and expenditure in 2014/15 due to a decrease in the funding we receive from central government, increasing demand for our services and rising costs.
“This means that spending reductions have to be made, however we have demonstrated our commitment to engaging residents and stakeholders more extensively than before on which services they think we should prioritise and reviewing our proposals to help limit their potential impact.
“The council still delivers hundreds of services and we will continue to protect these and front line services as far as possible.”
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