Berkshire

Bracknell council to axe 95 jobs amid budget cuts

Councillors in part of Berkshire have discussed plans to axe up to 95 posts in a bid to plug a £6m funding gap.

Bracknell council has also proposed a £30 annual charge for garden waste and cutting £150,000 from its grant to the Connexions service.

But council tax is set to be frozen, after the government made money available to authorities.

Bracknell's executive approved the draft proposals with a six-week consultation due to start.

The final budget, totalling £75m, will be set in February 2012.

'Difficult decisions'

Unions and staff are being consulted on the job losses.

The plans also include an £85,000 cut in the grant given to the South Hill Park Arts Centre.

Councillor Alan Ward, member for finance at the Conservative-led council, said: "All other things being equal, the council needs to make £4m savings to cope with national cuts and inflation.

"However, pressures of a further £2m to provide for important new commitments, results in a funding gap of £6m.

"This has required some difficult decisions but we believe that these will overall produce the least impact on our residents."

The council said it had managed to save £50m since 1998 but the 2012/13 budget "will inevitably be particularly challenging".

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