Derbyshire County Council to cut 1,600 jobs

Derbyshire County Council offices
Image caption About 1,600 people will lose their job as County Hall looks to save £157m

Derbyshire County Council is to cut 1,600 jobs in a bid to help save £157m over the next five years.

It is the equivalent of 840 full-time posts, according to the Labour-run authority.

Council leader Anne Western blamed the coalition government for the "devastating" cuts.

Increased charges for services, the sharing of resources, and the possible closure of some centres are also being considered.

Ms Western said: "This is an impossible situation forced upon us by the coalition government. We are faced with making devastating cuts to our services.

"Local government is being unfairly targeted and is being told to take a bigger share of cuts than any other public service.

"Important local services will be lost as a direct result of these cuts and £157m will be taken out of the local economy."

£10.5m shortfall

Not including education, the council has 15,446 posts, including full and part-time positions, with some people holding more than one job.

Plans for the cuts were announced following the publication of a financial report for next week's cabinet meeting.

In it, director of finance Peter Handford identified a £10.5m shortfall in this year's plan, agreed by the previous Conservative-run council in February.

This will mean it will have to make £47.2m savings next year.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said necessary funding cuts were being shared by all authorities.

Bank balance

He added: "This government's carefully considered reforms are helping councils achieve greater financial independence and deliver sensible savings while protecting frontline services.

"There is more councils can do such as recover the £2bn a year of uncollected council tax, reduce the £2bn lost to fraud and error and utilise the £16bn sitting in reserves."

The department said its figures showed Derbyshire County Council had more than £214m in its reserves,

Once the proposal has been considered by the cabinet it will go before the full council the next day.

In August, the council joined with other local authorities in the county demanding a meeting with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, but they said he refused.

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