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85 jobs to go in £2.5m council cost cuts

Almost 100 Solihull Council jobs are at risk in a £2.5 million cost-cutting drive.

Almost 100 Solihull Council jobs are at risk in a £2.5 million cost-cutting drive.

The proposed changes will include a “review of management layers” in a bid to cut the equivalent of 85 posts.

A total of £1 million would be saved from slashing “back office” costs, with the remaining £1.5 million found in other departments.

The plan emerged in the council’s 2014/15 budget document.

Spending of more than £169 million was approved last week, with the job loss details included in the authority’s three-year financial plan looking ahead until 2016/17.

The budget document said: “Staffing costs account for approximately one half of the council’s total budget. The council will not achieve the savings it is required to make without further reductions in staffing.”

The document said the authority planned to share more services with other councils and the job losses would avoid duplicating roles in areas like housing.

Council tax was frozen for the next 12 months for the fourth consecutive year but a two per cent increase is planned in 2016/17.

Departments including health and wellbeing, neighbourhood services, transport and children’s services will also be hit financially over the next few years. Council leader Coun Ken Meeson said action was needed because the council had again received the lowest level of government grant.

But he said the plan was “not necessarily about cutting staff”.

“We are constantly asking staff to be flexible,” he said.

“If they want to stay, there may be opportunities for them to be deployed into other areas, although we cannot guarantee always being able to find alternative positions.

“There will also be situations where staff are ready to leave and want to take redundancy.

“We are in a much better place than other local authorities – there are councils having to make most people redundant and closing services like libraries.”

The council has had to find another £7 million in savings on top of the £15 million already planned between 2014 and 2016.

Another £6.8 million-worth of savings were identified for the budget in 2016/17.

 

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