Derbyshire County Council confirms £25m budget

Plans to cut 600 jobs and £25m from Derbyshire County Council's annual budget have been approved.

As a result of the 5% budget cut, youth services and care for the elderly and disabled will be cut with changes also planned for adult day care.

Council tax will be frozen for 2012/13 but future rises were not ruled out.

The cuts are part of the Conservative-run authority's four-year plan to save £96m up until March 2015 because of a fall in government grants.

Staff numbers have already been cut by 800 but the Tories said this figure was only 5% of the total workforce of 16,000.

The latest round of job cuts will come from office staff and middle and senior management. The council has also indicated that home-helps may be affected.

'Complete denial'

Council leader Andrew Lewer said: "These jobs (600) aren't any additional job cuts from those that we'd announced when this four-year funding cut was first talked about.

"We'll be working very hard on voluntary retirement and redundancy which we've had great success with and we'll also be looking to redeploy people wherever possible."

During the meeting at Matlock on Wednesday, Liberal Democrat members said the council could have done more to save money.

Management costs at County Hall were too high and spending £40,000 on each issue of the Derbyshire First leaflet was too much, it said.

The Labour opposition group said the cuts would affect vulnerable people.

Mr Lewer said the budget was fair and that the opposition had offered no better suggestions.

"People understand the context we're working in and with an opposition that's just in complete denial that any cuts are needed at all," he said.

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