Wandsworth Council to make £55m savings over four years

Councillors at Conservative-run Wandsworth Council have voted to reduce their spending by £55m over four years.

The local authority set its budget for 2011-12 at £202m. The council will also lose 200 jobs from its current workforce of 3,500 this year.

Bexley Council also approved savings of £35m over the next three years and will cut its budget for 2011-12 by £15.4m.

About 285 posts from a total of 1,600 will be lost at the Tory-run council by 2013, with 100 going by 2012.

Sharing services

Wandsworth Council said it had decided to reduce the number of its clerical and administrative staff.

The local authority said it hoped to raise money by selling some of its buildings and relocating staff members.

As part of the plan, it hopes the sale of the Professional Centre in Franciscan Road will cut its cost of maintaining offices by £600,000 (by 2014).

The council also plans to save £60,000 a year by sharing some managerial services with Hammersmith and Fulham.

Change staff contracts

In Bexley, the job losses will affect management and back office staff, and it expects to save about £1.6m by cutting senior management level posts by 20%.

The council also said it would save £4.7m by modernising its learning disabilities services, £2.27m by changing staff contracts, £1.6m by reducing senior managerial posts by 20%, £1.35m by reducing grants to outside organisations and £1.33m by reviewing of contracts.

Harrow Council is set to finalise its budget on Thursday night while all the other London boroughs have announced their savings targets and job cuts, which now stand close to 9,000.

Local authorities face an average of a 9.9% cut in government formula grant funding in 2011-12.

The plans already announced by London councils stand to save the public purse more than £1bn over three years.

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