Notts: County Council budget cuts will see jobs axed and Council Tax rise

Coun Alan Rhodes

Coun Alan Rhodes

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Hundreds of jobs are set to be axed and Council Tax will rise as Notts County Council plans to cut its workforce and vital frontline services to save £154 million.

Council leader Alan Rhodes was angry the council had been forced into making the savings over the next three years, blaming the previous administration and £79 million cuts in Government funding.

Proposals include axing around 800 jobs at the council, raising Council Tax by 1.99 per cent - 38p per week to the average bill - and raising the price of school meals by 10p a day.

The council warned that further cuts and job losses are likely in three years time if there is no change to funding from the Government.

Coun Rhodes said: “I am angry that we have been forced into a position, not of our making, which gives us no choice but to cut vital services and further reduce our workforce.”

“We inherited a £133 million deficit from the previous administration in May, made event worse following an extra £21 million in cuts announced by the Government this summer and their failure to acknowledge - let along properly fund - the extra pressures being put on depleted council budgets by the increase in demand.”

The council budget is made up of 122 separate proposals, affecting all council departments. They amount to £83 million of savings, with £37 million being reinvested in areas of greatest need, predominantly adult social care.

The council plans to introduce a range of measures to improve efficiency including sharing services with other organisations and better use of technology.

Raising Council Tax by 1.99 per cent, for the first time in four years, will raise £5.5million.

“In putting these proposals together, we have attempted to apply an ethos of fairness in difficult times and maintain services in those areas of greatest need wherever possible,” said Coun Rhodes.

“I do appreciate though that this is little consolation to those service users and employees who are adversely affected, and for that I am extremely sorry.”

“We know that, unless there is a radical change in the Government’s attitude towards local government and its funding, that even more difficult times lie ahead.”

“Despite the challenging and uncertain financial outlook, the county council will continue to make important decisions that improve the lives of Notts residents.”

“In the last six months we have introduced a £1 million growth and jobs fund, the Living Wage, 20mph zones outside schools, turned street lights back on and given the go ahead for new Extra Care housing for older people.”

To have your say on the budget cuts as part of an ongoing consultation, which runs until 17th January, visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/budget