Worksop: Union speaks out in support of Bassetlaw Council over budget cuts

Guardian News
Guardian News
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The union at Bassetlaw Council has spoken out in support of the local authority over its increasing pressures to balance its budget.

Cuts in Government funding has left the district council needing to make savings of £4.2million over the next four years.

Bosses have already found £920,000 of savings to balance its books for the next financial year, but need to make further savings over the following years.

The council plans to increase Council Tax by 1.5 per cent and is also looking into voluntary redundancies and voluntary early retirement.

Council leader, Coun Simon Greaves, said he ‘cannot rule out anything in or out,’ at this stage, including compulsory redundancies.

Unison Bassetlaw local government branch secretary Keith Circuit said: ‘Obviously trade unions are against anything that would, or could lead to compulsory redundancies.”

“However, this has to be put into the context of the council’s current track record which, to date, has been very good on this matter.”

“It is good news that the council has been able to set a balanced budget for the coming year (2014/15) and the fact that Government funding is continually being slashed does mean that 2015/16 is set to be a difficult year.”

“At this time in previous years it is highly unlikely that the council would have been able to rule out compulsory redundancy for future years and between us we have managed to keep these type of redundancies to a minimum.”

“The fact that the council are once again to look at voluntary redundancy and voluntary early redundancy will undoubtedly help the situation, as will the removal of vacant posts.”

“However, we must not forget that our members and the staff that remain have been greatly reduced in numbers over the past few years and are still doing a magnificent job in providing a high level, high quality service but this can only go on so long before the workload takes over and causes high levels of stress and results in higher sickness absence.”

“We have worked very closely with both councillors and senior management during the past few years to minimise the risk to our members and will continue to do so with 2015/16 in mind.”