Mid Wales

Powys council cuts: Councillors vote to cut dozens of jobs

Media captionPowys council is facing a £30m shortfall in funding over the next three years

Councillors have approved plans to cut dozens of jobs at Powys council as the authority bids to balance its budget.

The council is facing a £30m shortfall in funding over the next three years and is planning a range of savings.

Previously, the council has said around 200 posts are at risk, but councillors now say the figure will be lower because of retirements and voluntary redundancies.

The authority hopes the job losses will deliver £4m in savings.

A decision to implement the cuts was deferred at a full council meeting on 21 February, and councillors met again on Monday.

The plan to make job losses has been opposed by the public service union Unison.

There has also been opposition to some of the other cuts proposed by the council's cabinet, a minority administration controlled by the Shires Group.

School transport

The group was looking to reduce community grants by 75% and charging sixth formers for school transport.

But, following objections, it will now cut community grants by 10%.

Meanwhile, there will be further discussions before a decision in made about school transport for sixth formers.

The authority also set the council tax for the next financial year at Monday's full council meeting in Llandrindod Wells.

It will increase it by 2.75%, which will mean for a band D property it will rise by £25.75 from £936.36 to £962.11.

'Tip of the iceberg'

Powys council, which has 5,000 full-time staff, revealed in January it was facing a £30m reduction in its base budget over the next three years after receiving the lowest funding increase in Wales.

The Welsh government said at the time that the settlements for councils in Wales was "better than they expected".

The council's cabinet has since approved a new operating model and restructure as part of its response to the financial challenges.

A number of senior posts are under threat as the authority looks to reduce its workforce.

But Unison has warned that the job losses are the "tip of the iceberg".

The council is also ring fencing nearly £3m to contest a major public inquiry into five wind farm applications later this year in Welshpool.

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