Shropshire

Telford & Wrekin Council staff budget 'cut by 20%'

The budget for the number of staff working at a council in Shropshire will be cut by 20% over the next four years, it has emerged.

Telford & Wrekin Council has been seeking to protect services, despite a reduction in grants from the government of £4m this year.

The council had a staff savings target of 15% but that has increased to 20%.

Most of the redundancies made so far are not having an impact on front-line services, the authority said.

'Undoubtedly impact'

Councils across England are having to make millions of pounds of savings after £1.1bn funding cuts were announced by the government in June.

Councillor Sean Kelly, cabinet member for an efficient and community focused council, said: "Quite clearly there will be reduction in the workforce.

"That in some areas will undoubtedly impact on capacity and our ability to deliver front-line services efficiently and effectively.

"But the vast majority of the redundancies made to date are actually redundancies that aren't having an impact on front-line services.

"In other words we believe firmly as an administration, and have done since 2007, on slimmed-down local government.

"We've been driving forward efficiencies and savings by slashing out unnecessary waste and duplication. It does actually penetrate into the workforce.

"There are some things that simply don't need to be done in times of real financial constraint."

Vulnerable adults

The council said it was managing to offset costs related to grant cuts from the government and "growing pressures" on council services at the moment to stay within budget.

But it said the position was expected to get more difficult as it moved into 2011.

Growing pressures on council services included the continuing costs of looking after children in care and vulnerable adults, plus shortfalls in income for a number of services.

A report will be discussed by cabinet members on 10 August.

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