Kent County Council to cut jobs in bid to save £95m

Kent County Council has said it plans to cut jobs as part of its bid to save £95m during the next financial year.

In its annual budget, the Conservative-run authority said council tax would not rise and there would be continued investment in the county.

But it said there would be a "leaner organisation" with £38m efficiency savings, including £20m from job cuts.

Older people's strategy, public transport concessions and early intervention services will see cuts.

The council said it would also use £15m of its reserves and increase income by £6m from some social care services.

KCC said it planned to cut approximately 1,500 posts over the next four years.

Council leader Paul Carter said the authority was putting in place "a new leaner structure", under which the council would continue to provide services but with less funding.

Cabinet member for finance John Simmonds said services to be maintained included the current eligibility for adult social services, community wardens, investment in highway maintenance and increased funding for children's social services.

Zoe Van Dyke, from the public sector union Unison, criticised the planned job cuts and said back office staff would be affected.

She said: "The council cannot say it is maintaining services when it is getting rid of back office duties.

"Back office duties and front-line posts are integral. Front-line staff will be taken away to do back office work."

She added: "Local government is already very lean. Unison has been fighting efficiency savings over many years."

Unison representatives are due to hold talks with Kent County Council on 20 January.

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