Kent

Medway Council cutting 157 jobs to save £23m

Medway Council is to cut 157 job cuts as it makes savings of £23m to balance the books in next year's budget.

Cabinet members have been told the council's funding is being cut by the government by more than 11%.

However council tax will be frozen and the authority said increases in fees and charges for services for the vulnerable would be kept to a minimum.

The council employs more than 3,000 people and 130 of the job losses were announced last year.

It has said frontline services would be unaffected by the cuts, and it had gone through each department to identify many smaller savings, rather than looking at closures of major services.

'Regrettable losses'

Alan Jarrett, deputy leader of the Conservative-controlled council, and cabinet member for finance, said: "We're planning to introduce them in such a way that the effects are actually minimal on the consumers and residents of Medway.

"We're very conscious of the fact that the public are experiencing a difficult time."

He added that the job losses were regrettable but the council had tried to limit the numbers.

He said: "Any decrease is sad, because it affects people. We're desperately trying to redeploy people where we can, and make the process as pain-free as possible within the difficulties associated with job losses."

But the Unison union, which represents council workers, said it feared the number could rise as the council embarked on its Better for Less programme to improve efficiency over the next four years.

The cabinet will vote on the new budget next week.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites