Cuts in Cambridgeshire and Northants council merger

Sharing back room services to save money at Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire county councils will cause job cuts, it has been announced.

Cambridgeshire County Council said it will merge roles including in IT and human resources with its neighbouring local authority.

It will achieve "major savings" and protect front-line services, it added.

"This will lead to some staff reductions and that is a decision no one takes lightly," the council said.

"But it means we can directly save services elsewhere which provide support for vulnerable people who rely on us, such as children or elderly residents."

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles said he applauded the local authorities for showing "real initiative".

'Tough decisions'

The move follows earlier budget consultations where residents said they wanted to protect front-line services by looking at cost-cutting in back room facilities, Cambridgeshire County Council said.

On Tuesday, it formally approved the detailed business case and constitutional changes which will allow the creation of local government shared services arrangements with Northamptonshire County Council.

John Reynolds, cabinet member for resources and performance at Cambridgeshire, said: "The national financial situation has left public services making tough decisions."

Annual savings of £1.3m are certain through the project and a further £1.1m are probable, the council added.

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