Gloucestershire

Cuts force Gloucestershire council to axe 1,000 jobs

Shire Hall, Gloucester
Image caption The job losses equate to one in six staff and about a third would be senior managers.

Up to 1,000 jobs are set to go at Gloucestershire county council over the next four years to meet a £108m budget deficit.

The Conservative-controlled council said it equated to one in six staff and about a third would be senior managers.

Library and youth facilities face a radical change, with some being handed to local communities to run.

The council had been expecting to save £120m but revised its figure after the government's Spending Review.

Radical proposals

Sharing staff with other public sector bodies and selling off unused properties are expected to save £40m.

Library services are to be shaken up with 11 being turned into express facilities and a further 11 being offered to local communities to run for peppercorn rents.

And subsidised bus services and paid-for transport to faith and grammar schools are to be reviewed.

Funding for 63 police officers will continue until March 2013.

Council leader Mark Hawthorne said: "After an extensive review of our services and with the help of feedback from public and staff, we've made some pretty radical proposals.

"We have prioritised social care services for adults and children, which means changes will be made elsewhere."

'Gung-ho attitude'

The county council said it received 2,838 responses and spoke to more than 5,000 residents, who gave their opinions about which services should be protected, reduced or stopped.

Overwhelmingly, people voted in favour of safeguarding services for older and vulnerable people, child protection and fire and rescue.

The most popular choices to stop or reduce included parking, school transport, archives and libraries.

Liberal Democrat group leader Jeremy Hilton said: "Our concern is that the Tories have a gung-ho attitude to the cuts and that our services will be cut much further than is necessary."

Gavin Brooks, from the public services union Unison, described the cuts as "absolutely dreadful".

A detailed report will be discussed by the council's cabinet on 18 November.

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