Suffolk

Suffolk County Council job cuts report dismissed

A report suggesting plans by a council to outsource a vast array of services will lead to 26,000 job cuts has been dismissed by a senior council manager.

Suffolk County Council has said it plans to farm out a range of services to charities and private firms.

A council report to a disability board suggested the council would be run by "between 500-700 staff instead of the 27,000 people" employed now.

But council director Graham Dixon said the figure "is not one we recognise".

Mr Dixon, director of resource management at the council, said a large proportion of the 27,000 employees are teachers, leaving only about 11,000 non-school staff.

'Not discussed'

He said there was no doubt the council would be smaller following the changes, but said no decision had been made on numbers.

"We simply can't tell [the number of jobs to be cut]. We have certainly not as a management discussed any numbers, so it would be wholly wrong of us to suggest a number," he said.

The suggested number of job cuts was included in a report by Tony Carr, head of supporting families at the council, to Suffolk Learning Disability Partnership Board meeting on 25 October.

It said the role of the county council would be as an "enabler" and to govern, but "not deliver services".

"This means the council will become smaller and will have a smaller group of core staff," it said.

In September the Conservative-controlled council said the new strategy of outsourcing services was vital as cost savings were necessary.

The council said it wanted to "reduce its size, cost and bureaucracy and build community capacity to enable Suffolk citizens to take greater control of their lives".

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