Manchester

Salford Council to cut £56m from budget over next two years

Salford Council HQ Swinton Image copyright David Dixon/Geograph
Image caption The council has to cut £56m over two years

Salford Council has said it must save £56m over the next two financial years.

After revealing 2015-16's final draft budget, Mayor Ian Stewart warned the council "cannot avoid major impact on local residents and council services".

It plans to cut 200 posts in 2015-16 from its 8,500 workforce and the same number again during the following financial year.

Planned savings include merging adult care services with the National Health Service.

The council said in November it would be cutting £30m from its budget for 2015-16 and £24.5m for 2016-17.

Following the government's local government finance settlement in December, however, the council must save an additional £1.5m during the financial year which begins in April.

Part of the first round of job cuts will be met by not filling 120 vacancies. A council spokesman said the rest of the job losses were likely to come from voluntary redundancies.

Since 2010 the local authority has shed 1,200 posts.

NHS merger

It is also planning to cut £3.2m from Children's Services and £4.7m from Community, Health and Social Care.

Mr Stewart said: "We have already been forced to make £118m savings since 2011 and now the government says we have to save a further £56m over the next two years.

"I hope people understand the magnitude of the challenge the council faces - and that if we don't make the savings, the government will step in and make them for us."

The council said it would make savings from its plan, announced in November, to provide a single organisation for all adult health and social care services across the city.

It will unite with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Salford Clinical Commissioning Group and Greater Manchester West Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) to do this.

The Unison trade union, which represents about 3,500 Salford council workers, said it wanted to see more details about the implications of the cuts for vulnerable adults and children.

"Obviously we are concerned about the effects of these cuts and so are the people who are affected by them," said Steve North, of Salford City Unison.

The proposals will go through further scrutiny and are open for further public comments until 30 January before the final decision is taken at a full council meeting on 25 February.

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