York & North Yorkshire

Jobs to be cut as York council agrees new budget

Protesters storm a budget meeting held by City of York Council
Image caption The five were said to have jumped from the public gallery onto a table where they shouted and chanted

Savings of £21m have been approved at a York council meeting which was halted when protesters jumped on a table in the middle of the chamber.

Police were called to remove the demonstrators at the budget-setting meeting on Thursday.

The savings, which will lead to 170 job losses, were later voted through by the ruling Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives

Lib Dem leader Andrew Waller said there would be compulsory redundancies.

Mr Waller said the job losses would affect all parts of the council, reducing the total workforce from 5,350 to 5,200.

"Some of the posts are already vacant and we have also had 280 expressions of interest for voluntary redundancy so that will reduce the impact."

Tax freeze

Mr Waller said the number of directors at the council had been reduced from six to four over the last year and assistant director posts had been cut from 21 to 16, accounting for £1.6m savings.

The savings plan will hit services for the elderly, children and young people and libraries.

The budget-setting meeting also agreed to freeze council tax next year.

Mr Waller said the budget would help the council to manage the economic downturn and would "provide value for money services".

Labour group leader James Alexander said his party's budget proposals would have staved off £1m in service cuts.

He said the budget plan would result in less money for teenage pregnancy funding and would "decimate" youth services.

"Labour plans could have saved just under £1m of services and the other groups would not support it. There was a choice last night and they chose more cuts than they needed to."

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